President Pavel attends classic Czech Cimrman play with his son

Petr Pavel took some time out of his busy schedule to attend The Stand-In at Žižkov's Jára Cimrman Theater, featuring the beloved Czech character. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.01.2024 10:11:00 (updated on 21.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

In a departure from his presidential duties, President Petr Pavel attended a sold-out performance of the classic play The Stand-In (Záskok) at the Jára Cimrman Theatre in Prague's Žižkov neighborhood heading into the weekend. He was joined by his son Jan to watch the performance featuring the beloved Czech character.

The president, an avid fan of the Cimrman ensemble, expressed his passion for cultural activities on social media, emphasizing the significance of quality time for both himself and his family.

The character of Jára Cimrman holds a special place in Czech culture, known for his unique satirical humor and creativity. Originally created by Zdeněk Svěrák and Jiří Šebánek in the late 1960s, Cimrman has become a symbol of Czech wit and intellect over the past five decades.

An esteemed polymathic figure, Cimrman is portrayed as an inventor, philosopher, and poet, contributing to the country's cultural legacy. Pavel humorously drew a connection to Cimrman's legacy in his post.

Eva Hromádková from the Presidential Communication Department revealed that the theater visit had been planned weeks in advance. However, security measures related to Pavel's presence in the audience were not disclosed.

The atmosphere before the performance was festive, with the president greeting and posing for photos with many attendees in the theater foyer. Described as a devoted fan, Pavel thoroughly enjoyed the evening, spending quality time with his his son Jan, from his first marriage.

Pavel has another son, Petr, from his first marriage, as well as a step-daughter, Eva, with his current wife and Czech First Lady Eva Pavlová. Pavel also has four grandchildren, ranging from just over a year old to nearly seven years old. Both of Pavel's sons took part in their father's presidential campaign.

"Our adult children have their own lives," Pavel said in an earlier statement about his family and their connection to his presidency. "We did not discourage them from anything, but we also did not artificially involve them in that process. It will certainly be up to them to what extent, and if at all, they will want to get involved."

Pavel's visit to the Jára Cimrman Theatre serves as a testament to the enduring popularity and cultural significance of the classic Czech character, but English-speaking audiences in Prague can also experience Cimrman's unique brand of humor.

Cimrman English Theatre regularly stages new English translations of classic Cimrman plays, including The Stand-In, at the Jára Cimrman Theatre. The English-speaking cast uses the same stage, props, and costumes as the original Czech productions.

“If expats – or those who have just arrived recently in Prague – want to learn something about Czech culture, then they have to come to see the Cimrman English Theatre,” founder and co-translator Brian Stewart told us earlier this year.

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