Popular marionette theater reopens in Prague
After two years of reconstruction, Prague’s famed marionette theatre “Divadlo Spejbla a Hurvínka” is reopening its doors on Thursday. The newly renovated location is the home of the Czech Republic’s most famous puppets, the father-son pair of Spejbl and Hurvínek, and will also feature a puppet museum. Sarah Borufka reports.
The milestone coincides with the Spejbl and Hurvínek theatre company’s return to its Dejvice location after two years of reconstruction work on the theatre. Helena Štáchová has been the theatre’s director for the past 14 years.
“We are really looking forward to coming back to our home here, because the theater has undergone a great number of changes. The stage elevation is much better now, so every child can see what’s going on. There’s also a new puppet museum, the space is wheelchair accessible now, and so all these changes will really make it a great experience for our visitors.”
“They have a completely different dramaturgy, different topics and a different style as well. For children, we try to keep the illusion alive, but adults like to get some insight into the technical side of how a puppet theatre works. Most of all, the plays are based more on what’s going on in society and politics, whereas for children we put on fairy tales and stories they can relate to.”
The reopened theatre will also house a museum with hundreds of puppets, not only from the Spejbl and Hurvínek ensemble, but also those of such animation greats as Jiří Trnka.
Over the past 80 years, countless famous Czech actors and singers have lent their voices to recordings with the puppets, including Karel Gott, Waldemar Matuška, Helena Vondráčková and Rudolf Hrušinský.