The legendary piece Wonderful Circus is on during the whole holiday. Whether you belive or not, the show recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. The longest-time-on-repertory piece tells the story of two wandering clowns in search of the unattainable vision of beauty.
Wonderful Circus had its premiere way back in 1977, and since that time has been the most-performed title of Laterna magika: by the end of 2009 it been given more than six thousand times! In the current repertoire it is also the most typical sample of the art of Laterna magika: a work by a great creative team that synthesizes various components of theatre. Theatrical space is transformed into a circus tent, and the audience is drawn into the action by, among other devices, a panoramic projected picture and popular tricks involving interpenetration of imagination and reality. This poetic story about a futile quest for the unachievable is embodied by figures of clowns incited by a magician – the Seducer – and a vision of the beautiful Venus, who takes on the forms of earthly women. The spiritual father of the presentation was the long-time head of Laterna magika, the world-famous Czech theatrical architect Josef Svoboda, who applied his fantasy to the stage of Laterna magika until the end of his life. Also sharing in the presentation were for example Jan Švankmajer (as author of the scenario and stage director), Jiři Srnec (otherwise known as the founder of Czech black theatre), the film cameraman Emil Sirotek, and choreographers Karel Vrtiška, Vlastimil Jílek, Jiří Hrabal, Josef Koníček, and František Pokorný. Yet another well-known name among the collaborators is that of the visual artist and illustrator Zdeněk Seydl, who has worked with many theatres. The presentation has a suggestion of Czech ‘poetism’, thanks in part to the stylization of its characters into a circus environment. The audience can be entertained while also gaining a deep understanding of the human soul.