Laterna magika counts its history since the year 1958. The first period, created by the director Alfréd Radok and stage-designer Josef Svoboda began at the world exhibition EXPO 58 in Brussels, Belgium. The programm showed in the Czechoslovak pavilion was named Laterna magika and later gave its name to the theatre in Prague, reconstructed at 1959 after the worldwide success on EXPO.
The programme took the form of a mixed bill made up of individual numbers connected by a presenter’s performances, which were pre-recorded in several languages and screened in a manner that came across as a seeming interaction of the actress on stage with her images and between each of these. The same principle was applied in the design of the other numbers, which made use of music, dance and live acting. Laterna magika duly became a globally renowned trademark and following its return to it launched its official activity, on 9 May 1959, as an independent company of the National Theatre.
Today, the National Theatre is made up of four artistic companies – the Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna magika. It artistically manages four stages – the three historical buildings: the National Theatre (1883), the State Opera (1888), and the Estates Theatre (1783), and the more recently opened New Stage (1983). The Opera, Drama and Ballet companies perform not only titles from the ample classical legacy, in addition to Czech works, they also focus on contemporary international creation.
There is a basic effort which is creating the face of Laterna magika till today – searching of the way to a specific theatre which is able to narrate a story by using of different themes and medias as well. Laterna magika employs a wide spectrum of media with which, with regard to its rich history, it has ample experience, thus every performance is based on a different principle of connecting the stage and the image.
Tours of the New Stage
Guided tours of the National Theatre’s New Stage take place approximately once a month.
Laterna magika – the first multimedia theatre ever. No language barrier. Original combination of theatre, film, new media, dance, pantomime and black light theatre. Variety of performances for the whole family. Enjoy the unique experience!