The Garden – a ballet to music by Zbyněk Matějů, from the book of the same name by the well-known Pilsen native Jiří Trnka, illustrator and world famous creator of animated films. Since it was first published in 1962, The Garden
has become one of the best-loved works of modern Czech children’s literature. Like the book, the ballet draws us into an exciting secret garden, where five boys find adventure with a tomcat, a plaster gnome, elephants, a whale and a number of other characters who weave in and out of the action like a beautiful dream. Trnka’s story has also been made famous by Břetislav Pojar’s film version. This recreation of Trnka’s book in ballet form is successful in both its artistic and narrative treatment of the original. While the result may be a tad more modern than the original, this makes it all the more likely to attract 21st-century children. In Pilsen’s Grand Theatre, the five boys who set off into a mysterious and magical garden come across as highly authentic, although they are played by dancers. The choreographer, together with librettist and director Jiří Středa and designer Pavel Kalfus, have managed to create tomcats, bats, elephants, whales and flowers. The experience brought to the production by these two masters of contemporary Czech puppet theatre can be clearly felt.
(by Petr Dvořák, Plzeňský deník)
About the J. K. Tyl Theatre:
The J. K. Tyl Theatre aims for a broad repertory of opera, drama, operetta and musicals, and even ballet, designed with an awareness of historical and current social contexts. The theatre’s popularity and daring is shown by its willingness to try as yet untested plays, and even to commission and put on entirely new ones. Although the theatre is above all a place for the creation and production of theatre work, it also serves as a natural cultural and social centre. The theatre is considerably more than a local or regional theatre, since it holds an international theatre festival and is also both a member and the headquarters of the Association of Professional Theatres of the Czech Republic. Since 1995 the theatre has been headed by Jan Burian, who is also the director of the Divadlo Festival.