Guest Report by Leah
The Czech Republic has a strong tradition in puppet making and performances and the tradition is still very much alive for us all to enjoy. Divadlo Minor is the largest puppet theatre in Prague offering a mix of shows pitched at different age groups of kids – definitely check the recommended age for the show and stick to it.
The theatre building is beautiful – it won the prize for best architecture of the year in 2001 and is colorful, full of nooks and crannies where kids can hide. There are two theatre spaces – a large hall, which seats about 350 people and a small intimate theatre space for about 50. Most of their shows include excellent live music.
Some of our favorite shows at Minor are Karkulka a Cerveny Balonek (Little Red Riding Hood and the Lost Balloon) although the wolf is a little scary, and Kniha Dzungle (The Jungle Book), based on the Riki Tiki Tavi story and told in a unique, rhythmic style.
O Malence (About Malenka by Hans Christian Anderson) is an intimate show for young kids told in the round in their small space with lovely, tiny puppets (though the story is a bit confusing, they make up for that with the atmosphere).
Kabaret Tlukot a Bubnovani (Caberet Beating and Drumming) is one of their more successful shows - they have even performed it one summer in Seoul, in Korean! But when I saw it with Johanka, it seemed scarier and more aggressive than I had remembered from my childless days.
Bruncvik a Lev (Bruncvik and the Lion) is a fantastic adventure story with small, wooden rod puppets based on a Czech legend and highly recommended for school-aged kids. They also perform versions of Popelka (Cinderella) and Snehurka (Snow White). I haven’t seen either – they are both musicals without puppets and performed in a more modern style. While this is officiallly a puppet theatre, they often combine other genres – and some of their performances do not have puppets at all.
A popular show for older kids is Klabzuba’s 11, directed by the Forman Brothers (Milos Forman’s twin sons, who have a puppet company).
Being the biggest puppet theatre in town, they often host other companies. One to look out for is the DRAK Theatre, which does very creative and beautiful performances – especially their shows for young kids. Make sure you book tickets in advance, which is possible online at Minor’s website.
On the website you will also find details on all shows, photos and even short videos of the performances. You will need to have some knowledge of Czech in order to navigate, choose and order tickets. Start by visiting ‘Program’, here you will see all scheduled performances till mid April. The ‘Repertoar’ menu is where you can find out about each performance and the recommended age for children.
For performances in the Large Theatre you can expect to pay 80 CZK per child or adult for a performance lasting up to 60 minutes or 80 CZK per child and 120 CZK per adult for performances over 60 minutes. For performances with 30 actors or more expect to pay 100 CZK per child and 200 CZK per adult.
For performances in the Small Theatre you pay 80 CZK per child or adult for performances at 3 and 6pm. This rises to 120 CZK per child or adult for performances at 8.30pm.
A great gift idea promoted on the website is their 5 show pass which offers you 25% off the regular price. Adults pay 390 CZK for 5 shows (instead of 480 CZK) and children pay 300 CZK for 5 shows (instead of 400 CZK).
ADDRESS: Vodičkova 6, Prague 1
FURTHER INFORMATION: see http://www.minor.cz/ (mainly in czech)
DIRECTIONS: Take tram numbers 3, 9, 14 or 24 to Lazarská or Vodickova tram stops. By metro take the yellow line B to Karlovo Namesti or green line A to Mustek.