Theatre Critics’ Awards 2021

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Theatre Critics’ Awards 2021 know their winners already. The Best Theatre Award went to the JEDL company. The winners also featured National Theatre’s Vassa Zheleznova directed by Jan Frič. Markéta Matulová, the actress based in Ostrava, received the Talent of the Year and the Best Actress for Tomáš Dianiška’s Špinarka. The Theatre Critics’ Awards based on the traditional poll announced by World and Theatre magazine were distributed to both Prague and regions. 73 theatre critics were participating in the poll.

The Best Play Award went to Vassa Zheleznova. The play by Maxim Gorky was directed by Jan Frič at the National Theatre. The JEDL independent company scored three times: it is the Best Theatre, Best Actor for David Prachař for his role of August Strindberg in The Marriage History and Emil Viklický was acknowledged for the best theatre music in the production. The Best Actor Award also went to Joachim Bäckström for the main role in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at the National Theatre Brno. Tomáš Dianiška’s Špinarka scored a few times as well. Markéta Matulová won the Talent of 2021 and the Best Actress Award for the main role. The production at the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava also won the award for the Best Czech Play Staged for the First Time in 2021. Dianiška is a member of the Pod Palmovkou Theatre, but he works with other theatres in Prague as an author and actor (MeetFactory, Letí Theatre, A Studio Rubín). He was a director in the Chamber Theatre Aréna Ostrava and the Petr Bezruč Theatre in Ostrava that also stages his play Transky, body, vteřiny. It succeeded at the Theatre Critics’ Award 2019 as the Best Performance and Best Czech Play.

JEDL Theatre Company is based on a long-term cooperation of director Jan Nebeský and actors Lucie Trmíková and David Prachař. The society has been active since 2011 and specializes in original, alternative and independent theatre. Its defining feature is the cooperation of creators and performers from various fields of art. The dramatization of letters and verses by Czech poet Jan Zahradníček won the Best Play Award in the Theatre Critics’ Award 2020.

Full list of winners:

Best Play:

Maxim Gorky: Vassa Zheleznova
Director: Jan Frič
National Theatre Prague, premiere 27 October 2021

Best Actress:

Markéta Matulová
The role of singer Věra Špinarová in Špinarka
Petr Bezruč Theatre Ostrava

Best Actor:

Joachim Bäckström
The role of Peter Grimes in Peter Grimes
National Theatre Brno

David Prachař
The role of Strindberg in The Marriage History
JEDL Theatre Company Prague

Best Theatre:

JEDL Theatre Company Prague

The Czech Play Staged for the First Time:

Tomáš Dianiška: Špinarka
Director: Tomáš Dianiška
Petr Bezruč Theatre Ostrava

Stage Design:

Jakub Kopecký – set
The Brothers of Hope
Minor Theatre

Josef Lepša – stage design and animations
Ivan Arsenjev and Petr Forman: The Double Star Man
South Bohemian Theatre České Budějovice


Emil Viklický
Lucie Trmíková: The Marriage History
JEDL Theatre Company Prague

Talent of 2021:

Markéta Matulová - actress