Floating Forman brothers to dock on the Vltava River

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Part of the Prague - European City of Culture project is dedicated to the theme of Prague - City on the River. One of the most attractive events must be something called the Forman Brothers' Theatre Boat. It's due to dock in the centre of Prague on Wednesday this week, and will be full of magical tricks and surprises. For more here's Zuzana Smidova.

The ship used to be the biggest cargo boat of its time and could carry some 1,200 tonnes of coal, but now it will be hosting a marine fairy tale performed in an authentic river atmosphere right in the centre Prague. With all the alterations, which turned the boat into a floating stage seating almost 200 people, it can be also used at sea, but until the autumn it will be anchored on the Vltava River. The organisers are planning some 40 performances of a dramatisation of Alexander Grina's fairy tale Purple Sails. The boat should be cruising the river after the performance ends, certainly making it an event worth checking out.

The idea is the brainchild of the Forman brothers, Matej and Petr, twin sons of the famous Czech movie director Milos Forman. They say the fairy tale - Purple Sails - reminds them of their childhood, and so in a way it's a dream come true, as almost every little boy dreams about being a sailor. Preparations for the floating theatre meant they had to move for a couple of months to the docks at Stechovicka lagoon near Prague, which also served as a rehearsal venue. The whole crew has in fact two captains, one for sailing and another for the performances, and their co-operation is absolutely essential for the success of the performance. The rest of the crew are made up of members of two French theatre companies, Voliere Dromesco and Bretagne.

The theatre boat will cruise out of Prague just once this year - to Kolin on the Labe (Elbe) River, but should the project work out well, next year they might set sail on the high seas. Venice has already showed interest in the project, the Forman's brothers have France in mind too.

And for those who are not so confident at sea, or indeed on any kind of unstable surface: just like any other boat this one is also prepared for shipwreck. It is fully fitted with safety equipment, and as Matej Forman put it: a shipwreck would surely add even more adventure and reality to the play, but nothing like that is - of course - in the script.

Author: Zuzana Šmídová
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