Jařab David


Film and theatre director, playwright, stage designer, teacher

Jařab is the representative of stage surrealism, he likes to go on expedition to human unconsciousness and he likes his images to be surfaced. The underside of his poetics is the ever-present grotesque.

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Since 1993, he had been the director, author and artistic director in HaDivadlo. In 1997, he left for Prague and started to earn his living as a teacher, scriptwriter, translator, and a freelance TV and theatre director. In 2002-2012, he and Dušan D. Pařízek were directors and regular authors of the Prague Chamber Theatre in the Comedy Theatre, which won the Best Theatre category at the Alfréd Radok Awards three times (2007, 2009, 2011). Jařab has staged several original or adapted texts, such as Lulu or The Legend of a Holy Drinker. Other distinctive productions were Kerosene Lamps (2008), The Suffering of Prince Sternenhoch (2007), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (2005) and Clara S. (2004). After the theatre was shut down, he has been a director in many Czech and Slovak stages, including the National Theatre Prague – the production Hang-Out (2014), and Slovak National Theatre – the productions Rechnitz (2013) and Fear (2016). He is currently the regular director at the Theatre on the Balustrade, where he has staged several productions: Macbeth – Too Much Blood, which received the Theatre Critics‘ Award for the best production 2017. Other productions include Good Boys (2018), The Curious Case of Mr Holmes (2018), Secret Agent (2019) and Freud’s Late Afternoon (2021). He has also worked with Švandovo Theatre where he staged Lady Macbeth from Ujezd (2020) and the Goose on the String Theatre where he staged Cherwuish (2021).

He has shot several feature films (Vaterland – A Hunting Logbook (2004), Head – Arms – Heart (2010)) and documentaries (Vratislav Effenberger’s Brutality of Life and Cynism of Imagination (2018). He publishes his writings as well.

He graduated from JAMU, he is currently a freelance director and teacher at the Department of Directing at FAMU in Prague.

The film Vaterland – A Hunting Logbook received the Czech Lion Award for the visual design in 2004 and the Czech Literary Fund Award for the best movie of 2004.

“Director David Jařab is a writer in the first place. Therefore, he respects author’s words and his grimace, he loves his bizarre features and situates it in the minimalist concept of the Comedy Theatre current direction. Concentrated actors’ performances, creative use of theatre spaces, elaborate arrangement, the atmosphere of terror and secret makes the production an unforgettable experience.”
Vladimír Hulec, Divadelní noviny