Comic-strip opera Alpha to launch the theatre leg of PALM OFF FEST 2021

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Operomanija, the experimental company dedicated to new opera, will open the theatre leg of the Palm Off Fest on Friday, 15 October. The director of the Lithuanian company and the production is the one and only visual artist Dr. GoraParasit. The highly stylized opera ranks among the most frequently awarded piece by the contemporary generation of Lithuanian theatremakers. The international meeting of Central European theatres Palm Off Fest takes place until 30 October 2021 and the Pod Palmovkou Theatre. The festival also brings a wide range of the accompanying program, including documentary films in association with the KineDok platform, and an exhibition in the theatre foyer.

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The best of Central European theatre

Operomanija, the experimental Lithuanian company dedicated to new opera, will open the main theatre part of the fifth Palm Off Fest on Friday, 15 October. It will stage Alpha directed by the award-winning theatre director and visual artist with the nickname Dr. GoraParasit. Alpha is inspired by the story of Isabella García Lorca, who returns to Spain as an emigrant to reveal the mysterious history of her brother, the famous poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. The circumstances of his death remain unclear and the truth is much more complicated than it may seem.

The evening of 21 October will belong to The Golden Dragon. It is a tragic comedy set in the Thai-Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant and a cruel road movie about an extracted tooth. One of the most successful Schimmelpfennig’s plays observes relationships inside and outside the restaurant from various points of view. Directed by Catinca Drăgănescu, one of the most outstanding contemporary Romanian directors, the play becomes a fanciful dream and unpleasant nightmare from the outskirts of our society. Tuesday 19 October will see Tomáš Dianiška’s play The Magnificent 294. A docu-fiction based on real events about the background of the greatest heroic deed in our history. Tuesday 26 October will see Michał Walczak’s The Sandbox performed by the Alexander Duchnovič Theatre from Prešov. The play The Antiquarian Bookshop by the Civic Association Truth and Love will close the festival on 29 and 30 October. The play is based on the history of the famous bookshop Steiner in Bratislava and the events taking place in the early 1940s in the time of the Slovak Republic. Emília Vášáryová plays the main role of Lýdia Piovarcsyová-Steinerová.

“We will once again present the outstanding Central European companies and authors, whose works are not easily accessible for Czech audiences, thus rather unknown. The important part of the festival is a dialogue – each performance will be followed by discussions between audience, directors, actors, and programmers,” says Michal Lang, the director of the festival and Pod Palmovkou Theatre.

The accompanying program in cooperation with KineDok

Palm Off Fest will once again present the most important theatremakers and productions from Central Europe. It is the fifth time the theatre has opened to other art disciplines and platforms. The showcase of documentary films brought by KineDok, the Institute of Documentary Film, will present six Czech movies. “The documentary part of the festival in 2021 will guide the audience through various fields of contemporary life that is forced to deal with its variability and pressures: changes in economics, society and climate, as well as the changing status of work, current approach to individual freedom and dignity, and the approach to landscape and animals,” says Walter Nagy from KineDok.

Ondřej Vavrečka’s Personal Life of the Hole deals with the leakiness of the world from a funny and detached point of view. It represents holes of our present: time hole, cultural hole, work hole, ontological hole, and many others. We find out that we live in a world full of holes. Jindřich Andrš’s time-lapse documentary New Shift tells a story of a former miner, who decides to dramatically change his job: he becomes a programmer. Martin Páv’s Wolfs on the Border depicts the ambivalent reception of the return of wolves to the Broumov area: while they represent the revival of the Czech landscape, they also embody the enemies killing helpless farm animals who cannot be fought. Visitors to the festival will also see Filip Remunda’s Hens, Virus and Us, which depicts the pandemic life through the eyes of children. Barbora Chalupová’s The Law of Love focuses on what prevents the legislative adoption of the law dealing with marriages for everybody regardless of their sexual orientation. The showcase will close with Andrea Culková’s Grief focusing on how women perceive and experience the climate change threat.

The Palm Off Fest will also host Ondřej Vavrečka’s exhibition Green Boards, presenting pictures, sketches, and collages that illustrate the documentary essay Personal Life of the Hole.

There is no entrance fee for screenings and the exhibition in the theatre foyer.

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