PSC's Richard III and Winter's Tale set for the Estates Theatre

Several more Shakespeare events are planned, including an alchemy walk and some all-female shows

Prague Shakespeare Company continues its celebration of the 400th anniversary of the death of their namesake. They will be presenting two plays at the Estates Theatre, across the street from their usual space in the Kolowrat Theatre.

The Estates Theatre is one of the most opulent venues in Europe, and the only one left standing where Mozart conducted a premiere of his own work. It was also used in the film Amadeus.

It normally has plays in Czech, so English productions are a true rarity.

The first play will be Richard III, the same play that PSC staged in Prague Castle as part of the annual Summer Shakespeare Festival. Much of the cast will be the same, but the production will be a bit different as several campaign-style videos had to be cut from the castle show for technical reasons.

It will be at the Estates Theatre for one show only, Sept. 3. The play will be in English with Czech surtitles.

Guy Roberts, the artistic director of PSC, plays the title role with great relish and a slight edge of ironic humor while wearing a black leather outfit and a leg brace. In the play, Richard III is depicted as a deformed villain, though modern historians dispute this.

Joining the regular PSC players is veteran American actor Lane Davies, who aside from extensive experience with the Bard, has appeared on TV in shows like Seinfeld, Married... with Children and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He had recurring roles on 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Nanny, Dallas, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Ellen, among other shows.

He achieved fame in Russia in the TV crime drama co-production Russians in the City of Angels.

The second play at the Estate Theatre is The Winter's Tale, the play that supposed Bohemia has a seacoast and a desert. It will be staged for two performances on Oct. 13 and 14. Both this play and Richard III will feature British Ambassador Jan Thompson in supporting roles. She has become a semi-regular presence in PSC productions, while also keeping her diplomatic “day job.”

Aside from these two high-profile productions, there are many more events in the PSC 400 schedule, as they hope to address every play by the end of the year in some fashion.

In September there will also be Margaret, based on Shakespeare’s Henry VI, parts 1-3 but with the focus shifted to a strong female role.

Another modern interpretation will be seen in All-Female Coriolanus, which like the title indicates has nothing but women for this at times rather grim tale of a Roman general who faces uprisings and open revolt.

There is also a dance performance featuring two women called How to Kill Hamlet.

What may be more fun, though, is Drunk All’s Well That Ends Well, which follows on the success, if that it the right word, of Drunk Hamlet. The production takes place in the Kolowrat's basement pub, the Swan Club, and is described as “interactive.” I think we know what that means.

September will also see Pericles performed as a walking tour that points out alchemy connections and symbols in the area around the theater, and there are quite a few. Space is limited.

More events will be announced for the rest of the year, and you can still get copies of the graphic novel version of Macbeth by Stewart Moore over Amazon.com and at select Prague bookstores. It was inspired by the PSC production of the Scottish Play.

Prague Shakespeare Company would not exist without support of the public and sponsors.

In particular PSC wishes to thank JUDr. Dominika Kolowrat-Krakowska, Maximilian Kolowrat-Krakowsky and Francesca Kolowrat-Krakowska for their selfless and generous support.

For more information, visit www.pragueshakespeare.com

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