It looks like this particular show has become a Czech tradition as there were several local families with children in attendance. Despite that, I’m at a loss at how this dated and amateur show has continued to fill the theater for over 30 years. It’s an expensive show, and unfortunately it doesn't deliver. There is a lot of extremely jarring, amateur film and sound editing, very low level choreography with uninventive and redundant sketches. It may keep an infant amused and possibly younger children, so unless you're looking to kill some time with the kids, I would certainly avoid the Kourzelny Cirkus, and look into another Laterna show. Also, if you're looking for black light theater, there is only a very small amount of that happening in this show.
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It’s hard to write this because I saw this over 30 years ago when I was a wide-eyed 18 year old traveling abroad and I must have simply remembered the few interesting bits and enlarged them in my mind to create a fond memory. My girlfriend and I chose ‘Kourzelny Cirkus’ because it’s the longest running show in Prague's Lanterna history and the photos in the souvenir program looked enchanting supporting my fond memories. Also, there are some legendary names associated with it so we figured we couldn't go wrong. I’m guessing they must have been involved in the filmed background elements and not the overall direction and live content of the show. What you get is the exact same show created in late 1970’s. So, as a time capsule, it has it’s moments, but as artistic accomplishment, it falls very flat.
It’s a mix of filmed footage with clowns, dancers and other odd characters moving in and out of the action from behind large tarps used as film-screens. The show has a few moments of genuine charm, cute costumes and some sweet, mildly funny bits but overall the amateur presentation never gels into much of anything artistic or entertaining. It masquerades as a surreal, visual poem, following a duo of clowns through a haphazard journey. Unfortunately, all the sketches kind of float isolated on their own, abandoned of any direction, lacking overall vision, and don’t forget to mix that with extremely dated sound and film edits. The medium has a lot of potential, and I think the other shows offered may exploit that. I read here there is a retrospective show that is much better (which I found out after the fact), and I’m looking forward to exploring that one. I really want to see this medium at its best, but this show reflects the early days and is put together by unskilled story and film editors. I was a prime candidate to love this and was really excited to re-visit it 30 years later, so it was a sad and disappointing letdown. :’-(
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