Prague Marionette Theatre
Czechs get very upset when marionettes get confused with puppets. Puppets are things you put on your hands like “Punch and Judy” etc with minimal control. Marionettes are controlled by a series of wires attached to various parts of their structure and it can take years to learn full control of the more complicated creations. You’ll learn why if you see a performance at the Prague Marionette Theatre. NOTE: There are two major Marionette performance locations. I recommend the National Marionette Theatre located in Zatecka.
There is no written dress code for this venue.
Tips and advice:
You’ll be in a real theatre with a sound system for almost 2 hours in the case of the Don Giovanni production. You’ll either love it or think it was a waste of time. There is no middle ground. The adult marionette figures are about half human size so you’ve got to aim to be sitting fairly close to the front to appreciate the detail on the figures. The entertainment is in how all the marionettes interact with dramatic effect and how they time everything with the music. If you are looking at your watch after 10 minutes then you’re in for a long evening.
Performance – Don Giovanni
This original Prague Marionette Theatre two hour production has been shown more than 5000 times since it began in 1991. It stays true to Mozart’s opera in the number of acts and scenes, visually and audibly so as with the real opera it’s worth reading up on the characters and storyline before you watch it. You’ve really got to get into it from the very start when a crime is committed and must be avenged. Having seen this in a real opera I think its amazing how they can hold the crowd considering it’s all in original Italian.
Performance – The Magic Flute
This is more like it for people who want to take a chance on watching a marionette show. It’s a heavily cut down version of Mozart’s Magic Flute at 55 minutes. There’s a lot of fantasy and magic in the production so they can venture away from the strict operatic rules. It’s suitable for children.
There are festivals during the year which appear at the Prague Marionette Theatre so check their program for details. They intend adding childrens’ stories at some point but again check the schedule for details.