No Holds Bard – It's Shakespeare for All this Fall

The English-language Prague Shakespeare Company has joined the National Theatre

Rosie Dwelly

Written by Rosie Dwelly Published on 18.10.2013 17:18:28 (updated on 18.10.2013) Reading time: 4 minutes

The Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC) has just launched into its autumn 2013 season which continues until December and comprises nearly 30 performances of five different plays. 

The season kicked off on October 4 with the veritable blood-bath that is Henry V – Shakespeare’s depiction of King Henry’s invasion of France and subsequent victory on the fields of Agincourt. Also on the season’s varied line-up is a slick and streamlined version of the epic Macbeth, the romantic fairytale of fidelity and faithfulness, Cymbeline and the fast-paced 38-play speed-comedy, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). You can also catch a revival production of the John Webster tragedy, the Duchess of Malfi which was originally performed to sell out audiences and rave reviews earlier this year at the Prague Fringe Festival.

PSC has been producing high quality English-language theatre in the city since the company’s formation in 2008. This is a particularly exciting era for the troupe. Just last year they secured a hugely influential new partnership with Národní divadlo, a fairly groundbreaking collaboration in the world of English-language theatre here in Prague. 

Source: Divadlo Kolowrat
Source: Divadlo Kolowrat

Guy Roberts, Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of PSC, said “It was the first time the National Theatre had ever participated in such a partnership with a Prague based English-language theatre company”. “It helped PSC to solidify its place as the premiere English-language Shakespeare company in Continental Europe.” 

Along with this new friendship came an upgrade to a grand new home in the splendid Kolowrat Palace which now houses PSC’s administrative, dramaturgic offices, and rehearsal rooms as well as the offices for Národní divadlo and the Prague-based Hollywood casting agent Nancy Bishop who casts all her international films and TV in the space. The top floor hosts the intimate and well-equipped Divadlo Kolowrat where all of the current season’s shows take place.

PSC boasts a huge international roster of artists and staff with actors from UK, Canada, the US, France, and Russia. 
“Shakespeare is really the glue that binds us all together and working on his plays with all of these different accents and linguistic experiences greatly enriches not just the sound of the text but also the meanings,” explained Roberts.

Cymbeline; photo Pim Lin
Cymbeline; photo Pim Lin

The company is also in the middle of a three-year agreement with Main Street Theatre Company in Houston, Texas to co-produce Shakespeare plays exchanging artists from both groups. Roberts told us: “Henry V is the second production in (the year before we created a Richard III and later this season we will take our Macbeth to Houston.”

He adds, “Also in 2014 we are co-producing a seven-person Julius Caesar directed by Tina Packer that will play in Florida at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival and then come to Prague.” For non-English speaking Czechs the productions of Henry V, Cymbeline and Macbeth all feature Czech surtitles courtesy of leading Czech Shakespeare expert, Professor Martin Hilský.

Tickets for all shows are available via any National Theatre box office, or via the PSC website.

The Duchess of Malfi, Prague Shakespeare Company
The Duchess of Malfi, Prague Shakespeare Company

Henry V
In the early fifteenth century, and King Henry V has just assumed the throne. When the Dauphin sends Henry an insulting message in response to England’s claims to certain parts of France, Henry decides to invade. The war is ultimately decided at the Battle of Agincourt, at which the English are outnumbered by the French five to one. What happens in the end is nothing short of a miracle…

October 19, 2013
All performances are at 19:00. 

Complete Works…
9 Guys, 38 Plays, 100 Minutes. The hilarious, irreverent, beloved comedy that has delighted audiences around the world comes to Divadlo Kolowrat in a uniquely PSC style. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have an unforgettable night!

October 12, 13, 20, 23 and December 6, 8, 12 , 2013
All performances are at 19:00.

Shakespeare’s fairy tale of love, adventure, deceit, cross-dressing, poison, treachery and finally redemption tells the story of Innogen, an extraordinary young woman who will stop at nothing to prove her faithfulness and restore the ill-fated Cymbeline.

October 29, 30, 31 and November 13, 14, 18, 19, 2013 
All performances are at 19:00.
Additional performance November 14 2013 at 14:00.

Something wicked this way comes. Blood will have blood in this fast-paced and streamlined version of Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition, witchcraft and murder. 80 minutes, no intermission.

November 7, 8, 11, 12, 16, 21, 22, 2013
All performances are at 19:00.
Additional performance November 12 2013 at 14:00.

Duchess of Malfi
All the Duchess of Malfi really wants is to make tons of babies with her secret boyfriend. But when her jealous and manipulative family members discover her affair, they set out to ruin her with the help of the vile hunchback Bifidus. It’s a shocking series of murders, double crosses, double murders, triple crosses, madness, spontaneous lycanthropy, and indescribable tortures, culminating in the greatest bloodbath ever performed on stage.

November 30 and 2 December 2 @ 19:00
All performances are at 19:00. 

Will you be enjoying the bard in Prague this season?

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