Prague Fringe Festival kicks off this week with diverse palette of plays
After a year-long Covid hiatus, the Prague Fringe festival is set to start this Tuesday. Various theatres in the Czech capital’s picturesque Malá Strana district will host a week long programme filled with plays performed by a wide range of international and Czech artists.
Visitors to what has been Prague’s annual foreign language theatre festival for the past two decades can look forward to nine international shows at this year’s Prague Fringe Festival.
These include the multi award-winning “Swan Woman”, a powerful portrayal of a Stockholm urban legend by Swedish writer and performer Rebecka Pershagen, and “The Sensemaker”, a Swiss piece of physical theatre which tackles the issues of communication and bureaucracy.
Viewers looking for an intense personality study are likely to appreciate two monodramas performed by acclaimed English actor Pip Utton, which deal with Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill respectively. Meanwhile, puppet theatre fans will be able to see “Dniopera” a Czech-German-Russian production that promises a “tragic puppet opera performed on a stage of a baroque theatre”.
Founder and Director of Prague Fringe Steve Gove says that both the artists and producers are very excited to be back.
“For many of the artists in our international team this is the first time they’ve flown for two years, so the excitement is really palpable.
“There are many highlights [at this year’s Prague Fringe]. Of course everyone asks me for a top tip. Usually I just say jump in, grab a show and take a chance, they are all fantastic. This year I think that is even more the case, because we have just nine international shows, with a little side festival of four Czech shows towards the end of the week. The festival programme has been composed in such a way that you can literally go and see every show.”
The side festival Steve Gove refers to is Prague Fringe Reimagined. Originally, the name for last year’s alternate live-streamed Prague Fringe festival which was composed of a variety of Czech plays with English subtitles, this year Prague Fringe Reimagined will synergise the two formats together – offering live theatre for physical audiences, while also streaming the show online.
“For many years now, we have wanted to host more Czech shows at the Fringe. Based on the success of [Prague Fringe Reimagined] last year, we thought it would be a good idea to do it again. But this time, because we are able to have audiences, we will have small audiences in the theatres while the livestream is also taking place.”
Steve Gove says that if the new format is successful and the festival succeeds in its grant application, there should be even more Czech theatre plays performed at next year’s Prague Fringe.
More information on Prague Fringe’s programme and ticket bookings can be found on the festival website: https://www.praguefringe.com/