Prague Theatre Festival of German Language invites the viewers to see outstanding productions and an extensive accompanying program

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This year’s 23rd Prague Theatre Festival of German Language will take place from 18th November to 1st December 2018. The prestigious showcase of the outstanding theatre productions from the German-speaking area will be located in several theatres in Prague. The director of the festival Jitka Jílková and the programmer Petr Štědroň have invited 8 productions from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. All productions will be interpreted into Czech by tradition, thus viewers who do not speak German will be able to enjoy the performances. Most of the productions will be staged twice so that there can be as many viewers as possible to see them.

The festival will open by director Stephan Kimming’ Ten Commandments (Die Zehn Gebote) from Volkstheater in Vienna on Sunday 18th November at Na Vinohradech Theatre. Stephan Kimmig, who works in Vienna after a long break and in Volkstheater for the first time, intertwines ten intriguing tales in one story about seeking support and orientation nowadays. Three hours see the encounter of seven actors and two children in more than thirty roles in the production inspired by Krzysztof Kieślowski’s movies. A deep and sincere insight in our lives with no pathos present.

Judith Hermann will visit Studio 1 in Czech Radio on Wednesday 21st November. The writer from Berlin is going to read from her latest short story collection Lettipark, which is now out in Czech translation.

On Friday 23rd November and Saturday 24th November, the new multifunctional hall DOX+ will be the venue for Antú Romero Nunes’s Odyssey. Wandering according to Homer (Die Odyssee. Eine Irrfahrt nach Homer) from Thalia Theater in Hamburg. Nunes tells a story about Odysseus’s sons Telemachus and Telegonus: how they meet as young men and empathize with their father’s hazardous stories. Despite seemingly ingenuous cabaret sketches and their specific artificial language, actors Thomas Niehaus and Paul Schröder develop the play based on the magic of virtuoso comedy with impressive imagination. Odyssey was also invited to Theatertreffen in Berlin this year.

The festival will stage the production of the famous Swiss director and filmmaker Milo Rau Five Easy Pieces in cooperation with the Archa Theatre and Akcent festival on Saturday 24th November and Sunday 25th November. Milo Rau is the laureate of the “Best Production of 2017”, which was produced by Campo Theatre in Gent. Is it possible to put on stage the life of children’s murderer Marc Dutroux with children? In his play Five Easy Pieces, Milo Rau tells the brief history of Belgium apart from the life of infamous Dutroux. On the stage: children and young people between 8 and 13 years of age. This production is a rare example of a theatre evening, which uses an appropriate amount of pain, but it leads to something we called catharsis before: processing grief.

Saturday 24th November and Sunday 25th November will see the theatre evening full of life, fun and sorrow called Infinite Jest (Unendlicher Spass) produced and directed by the renowned director Thorsten Lensing. Lensing transformed D. F. Wallace’s novel on the stage feeling the existentially forlorn comicality of the novel employing outstanding actors, such as Ursina Lardi, Devid Striesow, Sebastian Blomberg and André Jung.

The festival program also includes a Czech theatre contribution from the Theatre on the Balustrade: Thomas Bernhard’ Woodcutters directed by Jan Mikulášek. It will take place on Monday 26th November with German subtitles. The production was selected by a jury, whose members were the journalists from Theatre Newspapers as it is this year’s laureate of the Josef Balvín Award for the best Czech production of a German text in the past theatre season. A small room packed with pictures and guests becomes a chokingly confined venue of an artistic dinner and a waiting room for an actor from the National Theatre.

The Comedy Theatre will host the Blackout production from Luxembourg on Tuesday 27th November. The once hackneyed topic of a neutral conversation – the weather – is suddenly hot. At the same time, the production is also a declaration of love to film horrors and Gothic novels. Claire Thill and her creative team deliberately play with typical motives and development of the horror thrill without losing sight of the fantastic would of theatre with all its limits.

The 23rd edition of the Prague Theatre Festival of German Language will close with the performance of Richard III directed by Thomas Ostermeier from Schaubühne in Berlin and it will take place in the Estates Theatre on Friday 30th November and on Saturday 1st December. The dynamic production starring outstanding Lars Eidinger. Richard removes all obstacles preventing him from reaching the throne. When he cannot be part of the community of those chosen by the fate, he wants to control. Great drama, great parable.

The Prague Theatre Festival of German Language is significantly extending its activity. Together with Goethe-Institute, it initiated the origin of the new international theatre platform TheaterTreffPunkt Prag, which is going to take place on 23rd – 26th November 2018 for the first time at the festival in Prague. TheaterTreffPunkt Prag includes countries and participants from Central and Eastern Europe: Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Each of these countries will send two professional theatremakers to Prague, the Czech Republic will have five representatives. The group of representatives will visit several festival productions and meet their directors and programmers. They will have the opportunity to see lectures on the possibilities of support of theatre projects from Germany. The topics of the discussion with German guests, first-class theatremakers, will be current trends in drama, contemporary German drama as well as the latest “Czech” edition of Theater der Zeit magazine. The purpose of the international platform TheaterTreffPunkt Prag is further education as well as networking of theatremakers, the birth of new ideas and possible future coproduction projects.

This year’s edition of the festival will offer an extensive off-program – in cooperation with Czech Radio Vltava in Planetarium Prague, there will be the radio play Shakespeare’s Skull by Werner Fritsch with the attendance of the author and Czech acting stars.

The alternative stage of the Theatre on the Balustrade will host the Czech-German edgy cabaret That Topic with scenic sketches of Letí Theatre as part of the 8@8 project.

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