Applause greets US premiere of Václav Havel play

Former Czech president Václav Havel was applauded before and at the end of the US premiere of his latest play “Leaving” at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theatre on Thursday night. The former dissident and first non-Communist president after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 attended the premiere with wife, Dagmar. In the audience were former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and singer Suzanne Vega. During the afternoon Havel took part in a discussion about the play which was attended by the main actors including male lead, Oscar-nominated David Strathairn. Theatre director Jiří Žižka, who is also directing the play, said he first became interested in theatre at the age of 15 after seeing a performance of a play by Václav Havel in Prague. Tickets for the performance have been sold out for several weeks, the theatre is considered one of the city’s best. Mr. Havel will be returning to the Czech Republic after the premiere and a three-week stay in the US.

Author: Chris Johnstone