The genius of Czech comedy – in English


OCTOBER – The Stand-In  – 25th

NOVEMBER – The Act – 8th, Conquest of the North Pole – 22nd

DECEMBER – The Act – 20th

The performances start at 19:00.

Where? Žižkovské divadlo Járy Cimrmana, Štítného 520/5, Prague 3 – Žižkov

How much? 200-330 CZK

The Cimrman English Theatre was founded in 2014, mission is to spread the on-going legacy of Jára Cimrman among English-speaking audiences within the Czech Republic and abroad as the authorised professional company performing the faithful reproductions of the works of Cimrman, Svěrák and Smoljak. As for the company, they are six English-speaking actors from different parts of the world. Ben Bradshaw, and Adam Stewart (U.K.), Michael Pitthan, (U.K./Germany), Peter Hosking (Australia) and Brian Caspe and Curt Mattthew (U.S.). You can definitely be familiar with some of these names as they are also actors with experiences from British Sitcoms or even Hollywood movies.

Jára Cimrman was Czech polymath: scientist, researcher, mathematician, sportsman, inventor, playwriter, composer, all-round genius and self-taught gynaecologist. It is highly probable that few non-Czechs will have heard of this great Czech whose creative genius has, without doubt, impacted on all of us. So, why is he – this Czech icon – only known and celebrated in the Czech Republic? Perhaps because of jealousy – he lived at a time when this beautiful country was groaning under the yoke of Austrian domination – but more than likely because of sheer bad luck. It is said that when Cimrman arrived at the patent office to register his inventions of dynamite and the electric light bulb – Nobel and Edison had just left. Furthermore, it is said that when the Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell, credited falsely with the invention of the telephone, spoke those immortal words to his assistant Thomas Watson ‘Mr. Watson -come here. I want to see you’ it was to tell him that he had already received three missed calls from Jára Cimrman…

In truth, the character is the creation of Czech comedy writers Zdeněk Svěrák, Ladislav Smoljak and Jiří Šebánek. If you like this kind of comedy, then CET is definitely worth visiting. Every play comes with a half time break when you can buy a drink or snack. Repertoire for now is The Stand-In, The Act, The Conquest of the North Pole and The Pub in the Glade.

The Conquest of the North Pole – Four members of the Podoli cold water swimming society set out on an expedition to conquer the North Pole. The second of the Cimrman’s comedy classics and my personal favourite:)

The Stand-In – Small Czech theatre company who, having lost some company members, recruit the renowned Czech actor, Karel Infeld Prácheňský. Prácheňský is unable to remember his lines, the names of the other characters or indeed which play he is in.

The Pub in the Glade – Pub situated in a glade in the middle of a forest. For many years there have been no customers except for Ludvík. Then, suddenly, in one day, two new people arrive at the pub.

The Act – An artist, Žíla, and his devoted wife, are preparing nervously for the arrival of three guests. As they eat and drink through the evening, the reason for their invitation and the connection of the guests to their hosts and Žíla’s nude painting of his wife is revealed.

The original Czech company of Cimrmanologist is active for more than 40 years now. They present in total 15 plays focusing on different aspects of Cimrman´s genial mind. It is not boasting to say, most of the people in the Czech Republic love and know all these plays (sometimes even by heart), and all the performances are immediately sold out every month. Therefore it is not surprising that Jára Cimrman was nominated in 2005 by Czech people as the greatest Czech in the national history accompanied for example by the emperor Charles IV or the first Czechoslovak president T.G. Masaryk.

How to get there from Almandine?

You can take trams 5, 9, 15 or 26 from “Václavské Náměstí” to “Husinecká” . See a map for more details.

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