Letní Letná circus and theatre festival kicks off in Prague


The sixth year of the Letní Letná or Summer Letná festival of new circus and avant garde theatre has just got underway at Prague’s Letná Park. Until the end of August, colourful tents raised among the greenery not far from Prague Castle will host troupes and ensembles from the Czech Republic and abroad.

Ondřej Cihlář
Just before the very first performance started on Wednesday morning, Pavla Horáková spoke to the festival’s artistic director Ondřej Cihlář and asked him first about this year’s biggest stars.

“This year we will have again the main guests from France because this is the place where the ‘new circus’ or ‘contemporary circus’ was born. So this year the biggest stars will be Cirque Trottola and after that Le Boustrophédon, young students from the best new circus school in France, and the third group will be Atelier Lefeuvre & André, great guys coming from the Que-Cir-Que company which brought new circus to Prague ten years ago.”

These will be performances for adults but you also have plenty to offer to children…

“Yes, you are right. During those thirteen days of the Letní Letná festival there will be ninety performances played by some thirty groups and each day, starting at 11 am, we will start with fairy tales or performances for children and their parents. Throughout the day there will be five or six performances for them, for the whole families, and each evening at seven there will be this new circus programme for adults. All those French companies are without speaking so it is very open for non-Czech speaking audiences.”

And what else is there on offer apart from the performances?

“We have a new thing this year and that’s ‘Open Stage’. That means that everybody who wants to show something, some circus or artistic skill and they have for example a small show of about 7 to 15 minutes, they can perform here – for free, of course – but for them it could be great experience, maybe a first time. We want to offer, of course, some workshops of those artistic skills and those workshops will be led by the performers performing here. So it could be a great possibility for everybody who is interested in those skills and this type of art.”