About theatre

Divadlo bratří Formanů

Forman Brothers’ Theatre

For twenty five years now, the Forman Brothers’ Theatre has been one of the most original artistic groups in Czech theatre. However, with its unconventional approach, working methods and poetics, it still wholly stands apart from the crowd. In addition to brothers Matěj and Petr Forman and a few other permanent members (Veronika Švábová, Andrea Sodomková, Josef Sodomka, Marko Ivanovič a Ivan Arsenjev), a new team is put together for each performance, bringing in new energy and skills.

Life of Nomads

The Forman Brothers’ Theatre doesn’t have its own building or a permanent stage. It creates its performances in specific locations, such as the Mystery Boat or different types of theatre tents.  This accounts for the nomadic way of life that the members of the theatre lead. With their projects, they tour not only the Czech Republic, but the whole of Europe (or the USA and Mexico), where they have already staged thousands of shows. They often travel to very prestigious venues and festivals, winning them high esteem. Each new performance is not only expected, but is born in coproduction with prominent theatre partners in France or Belgium. This is what makes the Forman Brothers’ Theatre so very unique in the Czech theatre environment. Therefore, they naturally and relentlessly spread the good name of Czech culture and the power of its theatre, fine art and puppetry tradition on their travels.

In Theatre Buildings

The other line of the Forman Brothers’ Theatre creative work includes projects made for other theatres. This mainly concerns the Prague National Theatre, where several of their opera productions have been successfully staged. Nevertheless, their work for the Husa na Provázku Theatre or Minor Theatre have been important as well.

Tradition and new ways

In the performance of Deadtown, which is now being prepared, the ensemble is striving yet again to move forward in their work and is enjoying the new possibilities that have arisen. Their traditional “handicraft” in using puppets or other strong visual elements and their continuation in a long tradition is complemented by a strong film component with animation at its core.

Animation has always been a strength of Czech film making and is a tradition that the authors espouse. Today, there are several projects combining film and theatre, but Deadtown incorporates film images not only as a background or illustration, but as a live setting that, when connected with an actor, creates its own magic reality similar to the world of Karel Zeman’s films.

Welcome in Deadtown

As in other Forman Brothers’ Theatre projects, the authors attempt once more to cross routine boundaries and find a new world (Journey to the New World is actually the secondary title of the performance, but it is a nostalgic journey; one that travels into the times when film was sepia coloured). Yet at the same time, the Forman Brothers Theatre makes sure not to forget about the audience, taking emotions, message and a strong experience into consideration.

This performance, like the others, will see the spectators entering more than just a theatre; they will step into an original world created especially for the performance. And when the show is over, they can step onto the stage and spend the rest of the night with the actors and other theatre members at the bar, which during the performance is only reserved for its fictitious characters. Through this moment of shared community, the principal sense of the whole project will be fulfilled.

Realized Projects

1992 – Barokní opera / „Baroque Opera”
a puppet version of a Czech Baroque musical

1993 – Kejklíř matky Boží / „Our Lady’s Juggler”
a puppet performance based on Anatol France’s short story

1994 – Sedlák čert a bába / „The Peasant, Devil and Crone”
a puppet performance based on a short story by Francois Rabelais

1996 – Prodaná nevěsta / „The Bartered Bride”
a funfair/circus version of Bedřich Smetana’s opera

1996 – Bouda / La Baraque
wine, music, soup – a travelling cabaret created together with Cabaret Theatre Dromesko

2000 – Nachové plachty / Purple Sails
a theatrical adaptation of a fairy tale by Alexander Grin, staged on the FB Theatre’s own ship Tajemství and in a theatre tent later on

2003 – Kráska a zvíře / Beauty and the Beast
an opera by Phillip Glass based on the film by Jean Cocteau, performed at the National Theatre

2005 – Klapzubova jedenáctka / Klapzuba’s Eleven
a theatrical adaptation of a short story by Eduard Bass, family performance for the Minor Theatre

2007 – Dobře placená procházka / A Walk Worthwhile
a jazz opera by Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr, produced for the National Theatre in collaboration with Miloš Forman, Alfréd Radok Award for Best Stage Design

2007 – Prague Quadriennale
a Czech national exhibition and an exhibition in the Theatre Architecture section

2007 – Obludárium / Freak Show
a cabaret of freaks in a mobile tent, Alfréd Radok Award for the Best Play of the Year 2008

2009 – Ubohá Rusalka bledá / Poor Pale Rusalka
an opera by Antonín Dvořák staged with the ensemble of the Husa na provázku Theatre Brno and later adapted for the stage of the theatre ship Tajemství

2012 – Čarokraj / Enchantia
a family opera by Marek Ivanovič for the historical building of the National Theatre, Alfréd Radok Award for Best Stage Design

2013 – Aladin
puppet adaptation of a Thousand and One Nights story travelling to their children audience in dozens of bigger and smaller European towns

2015 Pilsen 2015, European Capital of Culture
Opening Ceremony which filled up the Pilsner Republic Square with dozens of performers and thousands of spectators

2015 – Jeníček a Mařenka / Hansel and Gretelfairy-tale
opera by Engelbert Humperdnick staged at the State Opera of the National Theatre

2017 – Deadtown
Forman Brothers’ Wild West Show