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The Magic Circus

In 1974, Josef Svoboda became the artistic director of the Laterna Magika. He succeeded in reconnecting it with the National Theatre, which guaranteed not only additional projects but also more funding. The script for the first production was a collaborative effort by the following: film director Evald Schorm, who was banned from making films at that time; the cinematographer Emil Sirotek; Jiří Srnec, who started the black light theatre; and the surrealist Jan Švankmajer. Scenes from the lives of two clowns are arranged around a loose storyline – their storybook origin from a gigantic egg, and their quest for an unreachable ideal, filled with joyful moments as well as hardship. All that was missing in the dramatic structure of the script was fully compensated for by the film image, sophisticated choreography, and the use of both black light theatre principles and puppets. The Magic Circus is the Laterna Magika’s most successful production overall – it has remained a part of its repertoire since 1997.

Laterna Magika, National Theatre Prague
premiere: 15. 4. 1977
screenplay: Evald Schorm, Emil Sirotek, Jiří Srnec, Josef Svoboda, Jan Švankmajer and Karel Vrtiška
director: Evald Schorm
costume designer: Zdeněk Seydl
film director: Emil Sirotek

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