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Prague Fringe

FRIDAY 27th MAY – SATURDAY 4th JUNE 2016

NOVINKY Z FRINGE

Welcome to FringeReview’s Prague Fringe page.

Fringe 2016 is now over.

We are delighted to be covering this unique Fringe Festival with news, previews, interviews and reviews.

There seem to be more shows than ever and it is almost impossible not to recommend nearly everything.

We’ve explored the programme and offer plenty of tips and hot tickets.


Essential Links

Visit the Prague Fringe web site here.

Reviews for 2016 are here.

Browse the programme here

Find a venue

Read our guest blog. (from 2015)

Here’s the Prague Fringe Facebook Page.

Follow Prague Fringe on Twitter.

For other reviews, read Michael Calcott’s excellent daily blog

 


Our Prague Fringe Theatre Top Ten

Here’s our theatre top ten – our recommended shows that we’ve seen, from companies we highly rate and from countries where our partners have sent us recommendations.

1 – Hats Off to Laurel and Hardy (Listen to our interview here)

2 – Echoes by Henry Naylor

3 – Stripe

4 – Together (listen to an interview with Almost Human at Amsterdam Fringe)

5 – I Gave Him an Orchid

6 – Giftig

7 – Scale

8 – Tin Bucket Drum

9 – A Special Day

10 – Thorn

FringeReview comedy pick of the Fringe: Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel

Comedy special pick: The Establishment

Solo Theatre must see: Richard III: A One Woman Show

Poetry/Spoken word must see: Loud Poets. Read our Brighton Fringe Review. And Listen to our interview with Lloyd Robinson about Loud Poets

Comedy must see: Brickhead, Yeah, Yeah Yeah?

 


I want to see … at Prague Fringe

Our quirky show-finding tool.

I want to see…

… some solo New-Yorker comedy. Then see The End of Politics

… A fresh twist on traditional African storytelling. Then see Tin Bucket Drum

… a non-verbal dramatic comedy. Then see Stripe

… an interactive story, shaped by the audience. Then see Tiger

… a Gaulier-trained comedian. Then see The Terrible Tale of Dr F

… The longest running Fringe show ever. Then see Jim Hayes: Getting to Know You

… A mysterious solo comedy, 1 man, 6 characters, 3 stories. Then see Richard Burns

… some historical theatre. Then see Dear Mister Kaiser

… some unmissable musical comedy. Then see Who Dares Twins

… A story of European emigrants on a one-way voyage to a new life in Argentina. Then see Buenos Aires, Final Destination!

… War of the Worlds. Then see War of the Worlds

… some clown comedy. Then see Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop. (Listen to our interview with Zach Zucker Viggo Venn and Jonny Woolley about Thunderflop)

… Two monologues about loss and regret. Then see 0.0

… a true story of obsession. Then see Stuart Lightbody’s Sleepless Dreams

… a Part Rom-Com, part lecture, part call to industrial action. Then see A Living

… something inspired by gothic novels and silent movies. Then see Parlour Games

… some improv comedy. Then see Men with Coconuts

… some great, uplifting music. Then see The London Gay Mens’ Chorus Ensemble

… some unique, engaging, comedy spoken word performance. Then see Beautiful Radiant Things: Queer Girl Tales

… some highly rated stand-up comedy. Then see Sajeela Kershi: Shallow Halal

… some family-friendly theatre. Then see Vis a Vis

…  a show inspired by Spanish ghosts, housewives and Rock & Roll. Then see Madame Senorita: Who are Tu?

… some live poetry. Then see Loud Poets

… some acclaimed solo character comedy. Then see The Incredible Man of Mystery

… a late evening show. Then see Jody Kamali’s Late Night Variety Show

…  a fresh take on Euripides’ tragic heroine, Medea, from a new Scottish theatre company. Then see Hell has No Fury

… a fun-filled show of song & spookily accurate relationship advice. Then see The Singing Psychic Does Prague

… some immersive theatre. Then see Awakening, Sweet and Sour Sensory Composition

… some songster comedy storytelling. Then see An Audience with Steve d’Wonderful

… a performance with dance, music, innovative lighting and digital media. Then see If These Bodies Could Speak

… A solo indie-jazz piano & song performance. Then see Life in 3 Words

… some Kafka. Then see The Metamorphosis

… some character comedy. Then see The Travelling Sisters

…  a comedy set in a pre-play development workshop. Then see Shooting Blanks

… some solo Shakespeare. Then see Richard III: A One Woman Show

… a comedy hit, fresh from Brighton Fringe. Then see Douze (Listen to our interview with Xnthony about Douze)

 


Link Collage

Our ever-popular visual way to intuitively find a show to see at Prague Fringe. Simply click on an image that draws you in to find a show, then get booking…

  

  

  

  

 


INTERVIEW

Roos Bekkenkamp, Co-Director of Almost Human talks about Together

Company web site 

What’s the theme of your show?

Together is a performance about being playful in the city again. Through the medium of an audio tour and various small installations, 4 participants take to the streets of Malá Strana to follow 4 different routes, which will lead them in specific narratives to explore the city. They will encounter each other and various festival locations at points, to finally come together at a dinner table. A performative love letter to the city; Together is a piece of wonder, excitement and engagement.

Describe one of your rehearsals.: Walking, walking, dreaming, walking, writing, and walking some more. Seriously though, we walked a lot.

This piece really came together in between European cities: It was conceptualized in between Brussels and Amsterdam, further developed in Krakow, and finally enacted in Prague.

What’s new or unique about the show?

With this piece, we have made a very genuine attempt at intertwining performance, participatory theatre, audio and installation into a cohesive whole.

The result is an individual experience for each participant that doesn’t force anything: Every participant chooses to see and do what they want- we just open up the possibilities.

How did the show come into being?

Together started as a project catered to the small English town Barnstaple, and its Fringe Theatrefest. After attending for two years in a row, we started to learn more and more about the town and its rich history and culture. When a local guided us through, the intimate affinity of our guide with the community got to us as well– and we wanted to create something in honour of it. A love letter to Barnstaple, so to speak. We explored the different modes that one can encounter a place, and created four different paths out of this. However, community was such an important aspect to the town, that we quickly realised that the four participants should start and end together in this walking adventure, and we should co-operate with locals to realise the project. The result was a playful and intimate piece about exploring, walking, encountering and falling in love with places (all over again).

Now, Almost Human wanted to keep writing love letters, and to cater the performance to the city they fell in love with years ago: Prague. Although the performance kept its spirit in essence, it will without a doubt be as different to the previous show as Barnstaple and Prague are. But by keeping the same format and mindset, we intend to create the same energy, sensitivity and playfulness that made the previous show such a success.

How is the show developing?

We are just finalizing the audio recordings, but apart from that we’re all ready to go!

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work.

The piece is self-written by the company, but we drew a lot of inspiration from works that concern walking through and/or falling in love with a city. Attentive listeners may find snippets of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Hopscotch or Pierrot Le Fou tucked away in the audio!

How have you experimented?

Leading from the previous show in Barnstaple, it has been a true challenge to evolve the piece into something for a city as bustling as Prague. With that, the participant roles changed significantly: We now have the Lover, the Observer, the Dreamer and the Explorer taking on the city- which has been a drastic change in atmosphere but necessary to truly make this piece about Prague.

Show dates, times and booking info here

 


INTERVIEW

Kasia, The Singing Psychic talks about The Singing Psychic Does Prague

Company web site: www.singingpsychic.tv

What’s the theme of the show?

Fresh from performing at The Brit Awards Official Afterparty at The 02 Arena and the Cannes Film Festival, The Singing Psychic brings her new show to Prague!

With live audience readings and stories of how she discovered her extraordinary psychic gifts, this fun-filled show of song and spookily accurate relationship advice could transform you!

Warning: Her spirit guides, Maria Callas and Edith Piaf can be a bit disruptive!

SPECIAL OFFER: During a normal show, The Singing Psychic ‘reads’ about a third of her audience but on opening night, Wed June 1st, everyone will get a song reading (if they want one!), even if she has to finish them in the bar after the show or next day – June 1st show guarantee only.

What’s unique about the show?

A large part of the show is the live Singing Psychic audience readings, whether it is the ‘in the moment ‘song she can hear or where she does an indepth look at the songs which were around when you were in the womb.

The Singing Psychic also looks at the songs that the Prague buildings sing to her, revealing their history and their views.

Also as Maria Callas and Edith Piaf are her spirit guides they can be a little uncontrollable so who knows what will happen! Piaf loves good looking men and Callas really does not even like men at all, especially Greek yacht owners.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

The Singing Psychic reads the space, not just of the theatre itself but also she will be out in Prague over the days listening to the buildings and also making some YouTube videos, some of which will be shown. The actual rehearsal is about the space, setting up her grimoire, suitably spooky lights and ensuring The Singing Psychic can get to her audience.

How did the show come into being?

The Singing Psychic has always heard songs since being a small child and the story of discovering her singing psychic gifts and developing them at medium school is part of the show.
It is also about overcoming parental pressures of how one should live one’s life and truly following one’s dreams.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Taylor Mac, a New York cabaret artist as his ability to switch from comedy to darkness and back again is a true cabaret art.

Show details and booking here


INTERVIEW

Antonio Vega from Por Piedad Teatro talks about A Special Day

Two actors on an almost naked stage create a whole universe using only pieces of chalk”

 

Company web site: http://www.porpiedadteatro.com

What’s the theme of your show? Everything happens in an apartment complex building in Rome, Italy, in 1938; the day that Hitler visits Mussolini… Everybody is excited about that and takes to the streets for a big Rally… except for the two main characters of the story: Gabrielle and Antonieta… She is an overworked housewife and he is a mysterious bachelor. They meet by chance and spend the day together and that encounter changes their lives forever.

This a bittersweet play about love and tolerance in the times of Fascism.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

At this point, when we have done the play so many times, rehearsals are much more relaxed … We just run lines, basically.

Now, once we get to the actual venue, we go through the whole play, adjusting the blocking to fit the new space. We measure the space and adjust it to do the show…

One of the great things about this show is that, while being a very complex show on many levels, it is also a very easy one to do.

What’s new or unique about the show?

One of the first things people always say about our show is how different it is from everything they have seen… it´s magic in its simplicity… Two actors on an almost naked stage create a whole universe using only pieces of chalk, our imagination and, of course, the audience´s imagination.

This is a playful show that speaks about something very profound…

Most people leave the theatre feeling very touched.

How did the show come into being?

Two actors in Mexico (Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Laura Almela) and a Playwright were commisioned to do a show; they had a deadline approaching and the playwright wasn´t delivering. So they fired the writer and went rouge… they started to play around and devised a show based on the “Una giornata Particolare” the end result was amazing… We decided that it would be awesome to do that in English in New York; We asked for the rights, played around a little more on our own and the result was what we think a is a very charming play.

How is the show developing?

At the beginning the show had a feeling of a rehearsal, something raw, unfinished… that was intentional; but as we started doing the show more and more, the show got more polished; this was a natural process and we didn’t want to fake its rawness, so we just flowed with it. Now the show looks more finished but has not lost its charm.

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work. Since we based our show on a movie, the only contact we had with the writer (Ettore Scolla) was when we were negotiating the rights…

How have you experimented? This is a perfect show for experimenting, and we do it a lot – every new venue presents new opportunities… It is very easy to incorporate any accidents into the show and use them in favour of the play… We also experimented a lot during the creative process and transformed the show that was done in Mexico into something with the same spirit, but also totally different.

What are your favourite shows, and why? My favorite shows are the ones were the audience are with the performers all the way and from the beginning…when something unexpected happens, little imperfections that push the actors to be more present and make the show more memorable.

Show dates, times and booking info here


INTERVIEW

Matthew Jameson talks about Dear Mister Kaiser 

Company web site: www.hereticalhistorians.co.uk

 

What’s the theme of the show?

The true story of Captain Robert Campbell. The British prisoner of war who was granted compassionate leave by Kaiser Wilhelm on the sole condition that he promised to return.

It’s an amazing story about the power of communication and understanding in fraught, divided times. Equally uplifting and heartbreaking, we are telling a unique tale of love and honour.

What’s unique about it?

Our company was founded to bring untold history to life, especially the absurd and comical. Everyone who comes to our shows will leave with a brilliant new story. We make our work as accessible and entertaining as possible, so there really is something for any member of our audience to enjoy.

Describe one of your rehesarsals

It looks incredibly colourful and cluttered, as we have a lot of props and costume to factor in, but it is an organised chaos. We play a lot of brass band music and there’s also a lot of laughter, we’re great friends and we always enjoy whatever we work together on.

How did the show come into being?

We’ve always been dedicated to creating work with an economically friendly budget but the challenge with telling epic stories is packing them into a 20kg suitcase. Although our set is sparse, our costume and props are what create the world and it looks stunning! With a few sticks, cloaks and party poppers we create everything from a Zeppelin to the trenches.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Without a doubt the show that has had the greatest impact on me and my work is Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps. It’s economical, epic and hilarious, all while managing to touch on deeper themes and issues. It’s a love letter to how inventive and wonderful theatre can be.

Show details: 16:45-17:45 Divadlo Inspirace, Prague Fringe Festival 31/5-4/6

Booking and info here
 


INTERVIEW

Daniel Onslow talks about Brickhead: Yeah Yeah, Yeah?

 

Company web site

What’s the theme of your show?

‘Brickhead: Yeah Yeah, Yeah?’ is a journey to worlds both weird and profound. Brickhead struggles to express himself through words as they are… sort of like… hard to…like…yeah. Instead, he relies on bizarre interactions delivered with his unique charm to reveal some sort of strange wisdom. The terms Inside and outside are discussed at length.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Me looking in the mirror and trying to make myself laugh! Then I take one thing I thought was funny and try it out at a comedy/cabaret night. If people like it, I try and develop it.

What’s new or unique about the show?

It features dancing, philosophical questions, wigs, performance poetry and audience interaction. This show is definitely for those who like their humour weird and wacky. Or people who like clowning.

How did the show come into being?

I have to have some kind of performance based hobby otherwise I go mad!

How is the show developing?

I’ve been living in Spain since October and have been performing at different nights over here. I’m trying to make my humour more universal. Previously some bits of the show felt very British, which isn’t a bad thing but i’d love to make a show free from intelligence.

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work.

No writer needed! I just keep performing small bits and then getting rid of stuff that doesn’t work, which happens a lot! Only joking, I’m great.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Any where people are really enjoying themselves and can turn a poor set and production value into something magical. I’ve always loved the d-I-y approach in music like punk and grime and I think the best comedians and theatre people are those who can appreciate the limitations of their set but don’t let it stop them from giving a BIG performance.

Show details and booking here

 


INTERVIEW

Belen L. Yañez and Natalia Varela talk about Awakening; A Sweet and Sour Sensory Composition

Company web site:  www.nitroglicerinatheatre.com
What’s the theme of the show?

It is an immersive theatre performance directed by us but created by you. Don a mask and dive into a surreal modern morality play whose story has yet to be told. Each intimate performance strives to target each of the five senses for a total awakening, providing participants with the ingredients to create their own sweet and sour composition. No two cocktails are the same, though each reflects contemporary society in all its terrifying beauty.

What’s unique about it?

This is a performance in which we actively interact with the audience members through all the senses, and the spectators are immersed in the story itself as a result. This affects the course of the performance and personalizes the experience.

The attendees turn from being spectators who passively watch a production to actually experiencing what is happening around them.

Describe one of your rehearsals. 

The main characters of our performance are the audience, therefore our rehearsal is each live performance. If you want to see how it looks and how it sounds just come and watch!

How did the show come into being?

Think of it as a large mirror set looking at our society so it can be observed from all angles.
The show came about reflecting on our present society, personal life experiences and the call to generate a reaction from the part of the society that is asleep.

What are your favourite shows?

We don’t have a favourite show as such, anything that within its simplicity manages to connect with the emotional part of ourselves and inspires our creativity.

Booking and info here


PREVIEW

Honky Bonk presents: THE ESTABLISHMENT

Billed as “A riotous satirical parody of the English ruling classes”, Dan Lees and Neil Frost bring their latest comedy creation to the Prague Fringe. “Two quintessentially English gentlemen from a bygone era, struggle to hold on to their values, wealth and power. Their whimsical world of cricket, tea and secret arms deals is under threat and they’re not giving up that easily. Keep calm and carry on.”

Dan Lees studied at Ecole Phillipe Gaulier in Paris and has toured his one man show Brainchild all over the world including Berlin, Prague, Adelaide and Edinburgh, directed by Complicite’s Mick Barnfather and received the judges’ award for Theatre at the London
Mimetic Festival in 2014. Neil Frost was nominated for the Prague Fringe Inspiration award for his one-man show “Everythings possible nothings available” in 2016.

As well as Prague Fringe, The Establishment will also be appearing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and London Clown Festival.

Here’s an audio interview we did with Dan Lees about his previous show, Brainchild.

Show details and booking here


News Wire

All the headlines from Prague Fringe…

2016

21st May 2016: 5 Minutes: Actress Emily Carding (Plymouth Herald)

17th May 2016: Shows for Kids (Kids in Prague)

29th April 2016: How a Geordie became official chocolate supplier to the Prague Fringe Festival (Chronicle Live)

20th April 2016: Get Tin Bucket Drum to Prague (Artslink.co.za)

2015

17 April 2015: Curtain Rises on Fringe (Prague Post)

17 April 2015: Sneak Peek (Expats.cz)

2014

24 May 2014: Interview with Stu Mentha (The New Current)

22 May 2014: A Feast of International Work (Prague Monitor)

15 May 2014: No longer on the fringes  (Prague Post)

13 May  2014: The Václav Havel Project heads to Prague (Washington Post)

13 December 2013: Steve Gove talks Prague Fringe (Lui Magazine)