“The strong topic of this year’s edition resonates with atmosphere in society as intensively as last year and provides the viewers with reflection of what they are experiencing,” says the National Theatre Brno director and TWB festival director Martin Glaser.
The festival Theatre World Brno has reached its maturity. Nowadays the festival is seen as a prestigious one in the context of our country and local theatres are really interested to present their productions in the context of outstanding international shows. “The evaluation of the Ministry of Culture’s Grant Commission is the proof of festival’s growing quality – it is only zero point four points away from the two best local festivals with twice as long tradition. TWB has received nearly double funding compared with last year. We took over a festival, which was among the last ones in grant evaluation and received no money. In the course of five years we have reached almost four million, which is, along with growing sales, the biggest development potential of the festival. The contribution from the authority has been the same for ten years – 7.5 million CZK, the South Moravian region reduced the contribution by two thirds to 1 million after transferring the production duty from TIC to the National Theatre Brno. The long-term partner of the festival is the VARS company,” says the director of the festival and the National Theatre Brno Martin Glaser.
Audiences of all generations may look forward to many impressive productions associated with this topic from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, South Africa, South Korea, Comoros, Madagascar, Martinique, Germany, Norway, Poland and others. Shows will take place at usual venues, such as the National Theatre Brno, Goose on the String Theatre, HaDivadlo, Municipal Theatre Brno, Polárka Theatre or JAMU in Brno, as well as in the tent at Kraví Hora or the famous Löw-Beer Villa.
The performances will follow several unique thematic lines. The main one, European dream, will take the viewers to the exciting journey through European past and present. One of the biggest stars of contemporary European theatre, Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski, will bring his ambitious and passionate adaptation of Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time called Francuzi. It will search for the roots of European identity and thinking, and he will let a train go through the Janáček Theatre. On the other hand, in the production Roma Armee the Israeli director Yael Ronen from the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin will set on an impressive journey to the future without prejudices. The Belgian performer Marieke Dermul and Brno audiences will create the universal European Citizen Popsong. The Austrian choreographer and musician Simon Mayer will answer the question of what has national past, ritual and freedom of speech in common in the production Sons of Sissy. It will be staged in the special adaptation for visually impaired audiences. The line will continue with the performances of Europeana (France), American Emperor (Štúdio 12 Bratislava) or Michal Dočekal’s recent production in the Prague City Theatres Angels in America.
The line Europe outside Europe is followed by performances of companies from the only European island in the Caribbean – Martinique. Audiences can look forward to seeing Suzanne Césaire’s drama Fontaine solaire, the dance evening with the dance company Art&Fact from Martinique and the charismatic Judith Olivia Manantenasoa from Madagascar. The highlight will be the music and dramatic performance of the musician and theatremaker Soeuf Elbadawi from Comoros – Mwezi WaQ. Zpěvy Luny a naděje at the end of the festival. “European borders reach remote oceans. These are the remains of the detrimental colonial rule of European countries and despite the fact that relations between capitals and the overseas have been complicated, we must count with them, in the field of performing arts and literature in particular,” says Lucie Němečková, the NtB programmer.
The program of the 10th TWB sees three great names of the Scandinavian literary and theatre world – Ibsen, Bergman and Andersen. It is the first time the audiences in Brno have been able to enjoy the Ibsen’s piece in the original language thanks to the small independent company Visjoner Teater from Oslo, whose Hedda Gabler will move to the Löw Beer Villa on 22 May and will invite audiences to her living room. Bergman’s characters from the prose Private Confessions will come to life in the eponymous production of Jan Nebeský’s company Jedl, starring Alois Švehlík. The Theatre on the Balustrade from Prague will bring the production The Danish Civil War 2018-24. Hans Christian Andersen’s legacy interpreted by Šimon Spišák will be guests for three days in the Polárka theatre. “Three unclassical adaptations of The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling from three Slovak theatres were brought together to interpret famous stories vividly, in the contemporary context, to speak to children about their actual nature and topics in a comprehensive and poetic way,“ says the member of the Theatre Polárka dramaturgic board Jan Cimr.
The program for children will also present the theatre tent at Kraví hora with up to three performances a day, with an extensive accompanying program prepared for the TWB by instructors from the Small Theatre in České Budějovice, DRAK Theatre in Hradec Králové and the Polárka Theatre in Brno.
TWB’s 10th edition also prepared a special profile of the Czech young and cheeky playwright Tomáš Dianiška. “Dianiška is the phenomenon of today – even though he may be controversial due to his refusal of art stylizations and his ambition to entertain only. There are currently 12 plays written by him in many theatres in the Czech Republic,” says Jan Šotovský, the City Theatre Brno programmer. Brno will see Dianiška’s first piece Atomic Kitty-Cat from the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, the production of his most acknowledged text Silence of the Woodchucks from his “home” Theatre pod Palmovkou, as well as the brand new production The Dependence Day staged by the LETÍ Theatre and directed by Jan Holec.
The unique opportunity to compare various depictions of the Faust myth will be possible due to three Czech theatre productions. The “Theatre of the Year” according to Czech critics, Theatre pod Palmovkou, will bring the latest production of Goethe’s Faust by the controversial director Jan Klata, DRAK Theatre will perform their variation on Faust for the young and the old in a special tent at Kraví hora. The South Bohemian Theatre will stage the famous Havel’s play Temptation directed by Ivan Krejčí on the stage of the MtB drama
Dancing TWB up
The Theatre World Brno festival will offer many physical and dance performances as well this year. After the success last year, audiences will have the opportunity to see yet another virtuosic Korean performance by the successful choreographer Eun-Me Ahn called Let Me Change Your Name, Czech production will offer the latest performance ADHD by the popular company Cirk La Putyka or Radim Vizváry’s acknowledged performance VIP.
The highlight of the physical productions will be, according to organizers, the performance of one of the most outstanding African dance companies Vuyani Dance Theater from South Africa with their performance CION: Requiem of the Ravel´s Bolero. The choreographer Gregory Maqoma will bring the audiences to the world where life and death and the closest relation. “Not only fascinating music in songs, but Ravel’s Bolero in African ‘rhythm’ turn the performance into an unforgettable experience,” says the NtB ballet programmer Karel Littera
The complete program of the festival and the link to buy tickets online: website of the festival.