Four French groups bring latest new circus shows to Prague’s Letní Letná theater festival

A full festival with foreign guests will be staged this year, following last year's shortened version.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 09.08.2021 23:27:00 (updated on 13.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The international festival Letní Letná returns with new circus and theater in Prague’s Letná park from Aug 12 to 31.

After last year's light version, the 18th year has a full program. Four French troupes will appear along with the best of local Czech talent. France wasn't intended as a theme. It just happened largely for logistical reasons related to travel at the current time.

Most events will be in circus tents, but there will also be a free open air stage. Young spectators can also enjoy themselves at the children's stage.

New circus relies on acrobatics and similar techniques, but does not use animals. Most but not all of the shows have little language barrier.

Tickets are available online over the festival website and at the venue. Visitors will need to show proof of non-infectiousness (recovery, test, or vaccination) in accordance with current rules. A Covid testing site will be available for people with insurance as well as self-payers.

The festival opening on Aug. 12 will have rope walker Johanne Humblet from the French troupe Les Filles Du Renard Pâle performing Résiste, a show with acrobatics above the audience’s heads. While this is at the open air stage, tickets are required.

Cirque Le Roux performs The Deer In The Headlights, (Photo: Jean Marc Helies)
Cirque Le Roux performs The Deer In The Headlights, (Photo: Jean Marc Helies)

The French-Swiss acrobatic quartet Cirque La Compagnie mixes humor and the absurd in their energetic performance L'Avis Bidon. The show was created in 2017, and has won a gold medal during the 38th Mondial du Cirque de Demain.

Cirque Le Roux returns to the festival with The Deer In The Headlights, a tribute to film, contemporary circus, and humanity in all its beauty and awkwardness. They were last here in 2015.

Compagnie 100 Issues comes to the festival for the first time with their show is Don't Feed The Alligators. Nine artists create an unclassifiable blend of circus, manga, anthropology, and Bollywood.

Compagnie 100 Issues perform Don't feed the Alligators. (Photo: Letní Letná)
Compagnie 100 Issues perform Don't feed the Alligators. (Photo: Letní Letná)

The Czech new circus talent includes Cirk La Putyka, Losers Cirque Company, AirGym Art Company, Cirkus trochu jinak, and Bratři v tricku, among many others.

AirGym Art Company will offer a premiere for the current festival. In their show Hotel Laputa, acrobatics are used to open conceptual doors and windows that offer insight into desires. The troupe will also present two more shows during the festival.

Žongléros Ansámbl is also premiering Straight Forward, inspired by Václav Havel's optical poem. The show combines group acrobatics, teeterboard, physical theater, and a shopping trolley.

Cirque La Compagnie performs L'Avis Bidon. (Photo: Marlene Braka)
Cirque La Compagnie performs L'Avis Bidon. (Photo: Marlene Braka)

Losers Cirque Company will hold an Audition, the audience will decide the winner of the acrobatic show. Cirk La Putyka examines on the role of a contemporary man trying to catch up with everything on a giant treadmill in Runners.

The Czech Tent will also host new productions by Cirkus TeTy, which uses a combination of new circus, dance, physical theater, and aerial acrobatics in its two shows Voyerky and Narušení.

Free shows at the outdoor stage include Crows by Holektiv, the street theater inspired Bezdéčka performed by the clowns Squadra Sua, as well as two new-circus reflections on online and offline existence: Link the Click, performed by Balancealots, and Secrets of the Clouds, by AirGym Art Company.

Children are always welcome at Letná Letná. For the first time in their history, Losers Cirque Company will even present a show for the little ones. The play MiMJAS was born out of a collaboration with mime Radim Vizváry. The popular Swiss clown duo Compagnie Due will also perform for little ones.

A wooden carousel from the workshop of the carver Matěj will be set up for little ones. Visitors can test their aim at the new Don Papa Shooting Range, where they will be able to shoot at a rose or see an exhibition by animator and illustrator Eliška Podzimková.

The festival site is located at the edge of Letná park near the Chotkovy sady tram stop. For more information, visit the festival website or Facebook page.

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