Sunday, 28 July 2019

Theatre festival to Havel's homage to be held in Prague

ČTK |
19 September 2016

Prague, Sept 16 (CTK) - A new international theatre festival devoted to the legacy of former Czechoslovak and Czech president, playwright Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), called Prague Crossroads. To Havel With Love will be held in the National Theatre (ND), Culture Minister Daniel Herman told journalists on Friday.

There will be theatre groups from Ukraine and Belarus whose creation fights for freedom, Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said. Czech theatre directors' staging of Havel's dramas will be on programme during the weekend. The festival will be held between October 4 and 9.

Born on October 5, 1936, Havel would be 80 on October 5.

Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature laureate and a critic of Communism and the postcommunist era in her work, will be the guest of honour.

Playwright and dissident Havel was the post-communist president of Czechoslovakia in 1989-1992 and the Czech Republic in 1993-2003.

"I believe that there is Havel's legacy, his personality must be remembered, perhaps more than ever," Herman said.

"The question of ethical and moral values on which Havel so much insisted seems to be pushed into the background. This is our responsibility, we should carry on his message," Herman said.

"We have devoted the festival to Havel's memory, work and legacy," festival director Michal Docekal, director of the ND drama, said.

The weekend of October 8-9 will be called Eighty Hours with Havel. It will show all Havel's plays in the repertory of Czech theatres.

They will be performed on various ND scenes.

The festival will start with the unveiling of an installation by Kurt Gebauer outside the ND on October 4.

It will have the form of a heart, the symbol used by Havel. The passers-by will be able to write messages to Havel inside it. The result will be cast into the fiberglass that will shine at night.

"Vaclav Havel is a light for us. Narrow-minded Czechs already started offending him one year after the Velvet Revolution [that toppled the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989] that he did not immediately arrange for their prosperity," Gebauer said.

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