|Black Light Theatre Srnec-the First Black Light Theatre in the World, Czech Republic, 2014|
Tour Dates: 16 July - 4 August, 2014
Since being established in 1961, this Czech theatre ensemble has been best known as the representative of the Czech Theatre School worldwide.
Since being established in 1961, this Czech theatre ensemble has been best known as the representative of the Czech Theatre School worldwide. More than 5 million visitors in 68 countries around the world have seen performances of the Black Light Theatre by now. Since 1999, the Black Light Theatre performs on average 300 performances a year. By now, the theatre organised about 280 tours abroad and participated in 83 festivals.
A basic principle of its success was set by Jiři Srnec, the founder and Artistic Director of the theatre and is based on the creative use of a simple trick, the so called "black cabinet". A primitive form of this principle was known even in ancient China, and later on, it has been used by magicians. Partially, it was used also in cinema (Melies) and theatre (Stanislavsky). In the Black Theatre, it means that the black-dressed actors holding the props seem to disappear against a black background. In this way, the things and objects seem to move by themselves. However, this trick is not the main purpose of the plays performed by Jiři Srnec and his actors, but a way through which scenic and mimic metaphors can be evoked, realized by movements of graphic artifacts and actors accompanied by music.
Artistic Director: Jiří Srnec
Founder and Artistic Director of the company, Jiři Srnec graduated from the High School of Applied Arts, then from the State Music Conservatory and finally from the Puppet and Scenography Department of the Academy of Arts in Prague. This may serve as an explanation to his almost all-round abilities in preparing his unique performances, in which he participates as an author, director, music composer, arts designer and in previous years as an actor as well. It was under his leadership that the company gained its world fame. We can therefore truly call the Black Light Theatre the Jiři Srnec Theatre. Jiři Srnec has won several prestigious international awards, both from the audience and from critics. He is the author of 20 original black light theatre performances; he participated as an author of similar acts, such as the performances of Laterna Magica “Wonderful circus“, which, under his direction, was played over 6,000 times. In 2011, Jiři Srnec received the Medal of Merit (Art) from the President of Czech Republic.
Program: The Best of Black Light Theatre
The Best of Black Light Theatre, also known as Antologia, is a gala performance, which includes many excellent productions that all gained international accolades. The most famous piece of this program, The Horse, is a parody of a western and, as it ends in slapstick, is always a perfect piece to end the show and to part with a smile. The piece is often performed at international theatre festivals and was also staged at the 2002 NATO Summit in Prague, to represent Czech Culture.
Srnec's theatre has created a magical wonderland for the audience where clothes can fly, boxes magically swallow people, a goose jumps around wildly and even a horse runs above rather than on the floor. Their exquisite and humorous performance won the hearts of every single audience.
In 2012, the Black Light Theater Srnec was invited to perform The Best of Black Light Theatre at “The 2nd China Children's Theatre Festival" where they gained an award for excellent repertoire from the China National Theatre for Children, also the organizer of the festival.
"The ensemble is utmost excellent and inventive and full of imagination as always; at the same time it maintained its almost childish innocence, which belongs among its most magic qualities."
- The Gazette, Montreal
"The fire of tricks shoots from the dark, brilliant combination of movements and music, mimics, puppeteering and pure magic on the stage. It is a dazzling extraordinary performance."
- Daily Mail