Famous Czech novel hits the stage in musical form

The Czech novel Babicka, meaning Grandmother, is one of the best loved in the Czech Republic today. It's author, Bozena Nemecova, has been dead for many years now, but her beloved tale has now been resurrected in another media. Richard Pachman and Hana Postranecka have made Babicka into a musical, in an attempt to blend traditional Czech folklore with contemporary music. Pavla Navratilova brings this report:

"It was long, long ago, when I last gazed on that dear face, kissed the pale, wrinkled cheeks, and tried to fathom the depths of those pale blue eyes, in which were hidden so much goodness and love. Long ago it was when, for the last time, those aged hands blessed me. Our Grandmother is no more; for many years she has slept beneath the cold sod.

"But to me she is not dead. Her image, with it's lights and shadows, is imprinted upon my soul, and as long as I live, I shall live with her..."

This is the endearing start to the novel Babicka, which was written in the last year of Bozena Nemcova's life. This book is said to be one of her most important works and has become a cornerstone of the Czech national and cultural identity. I spoke to Richard Pachman, who has undertaken the immense challenge of turning this book into a musical: And you can see the musical Babicka at the Jiri Grossman Theatre on Wenceslas Square this Wednesday night.

Author: Pavla Navrátilová
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