This year’s Prague Fringe tackles hot topics with powerful performances
Acting troupe Fun in the Oven present "Canary"

This year’s Prague Fringe tackles hot topics with powerful performances

The Prague Fringe Festival (May 24-June 1) is an annual theater event that locals look forward to and theater enthusiasts fly in for, a must on the spring calendar of anyone looking to catch internationally renowned players on Prague’s most intimate stages.

While the Fringe program has traditionally put the focus on bombastic comedians and bawdy storytellers, there’s nothing “fringe” about the contemporary issues the festival brings to the forefront.



From gender politics to climate change, the 2019 lineup tackles all that’s trending with plenty of Fringe pizzazz, presented in tight edgy formats that are just right for the Twitter age.

These are just some of the shows that are as thought-provoking as they are wildly entertaining — see here for full program and tickets to the 18th annual Prague Fringe Festival, featuring family-friendly shows, cabaret, spoken word, musical performance, and much more.

Women in the workforce: Canary

Brilliant, hilarious, and talented women are a big part of the 2019 Fringe lineup. Canary focuses on a motley crew of workers doing their part for the war effort in a factory in World War I England.

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Inspired by the stories of ‘The Canary Girls’ a group of women that worked with toxic chemicals, filling shell cases with TNT, the show portrays the fascinating lives of the women who went to work in munitions factories.

Bonus tip: Monica Salvi’s Mad Women in My Attic is a “dangerous and daring” cabaret that celebrates some of the mad women throughout history who have inspired some of the most brilliant songs of the American songbook.

Online dating: Proxy

A thrilling blend of Munchausen, mayhem, and murder, Proxy sees a woman, Gypsy, invalided and infantilized by her mother Dee Dee. Imprisoned in a fantasy world, it takes an online boyfriend to offer her a way out.

Caroline Burns Cooke’s first solo show, ‘And the Rope Still Tugging Her feet,’ which was based on a true story, won the Performance Award for outstanding individual performance at Prague Fringe last year.

Immigration and national identity: Where are You Really From?

They have Asian features, but Czech passports. Two cultures intertwined in one body. A text-based physical piece on the issue of identity by second-generation Vietnamese immigrants in the Czech Republic.

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The idea for the show stems from creator Vi and Ňun’s personal experiences being viewed as foreigners in a country, Czechia,  that they consider home. Selected for the Fresh Blood on the Scene 2019 program by Nová síť, the play not only presents the situation of the third biggest minority in Czechia — the Vietnamese — but a closer look into migration.

Climate change: Doppelgangster’s Cold War

A pilot crashes in the Arctic. A polar bear kills its cub. Two men in lounge suits are eating snow cones in a cheap Vegas motel room. Doppelgangster’s Cold War is a thrilling, hypnotic, phantasmagoric spectacle set at the dusk of the climate crisis.

Part gig, part theater, part political intervention, this mesmeric two-person show blasts a light on the growing ecological disaster.

Modern love. And travel: J’n’R

A love story loosely based on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, this play is set in an airport at 4 am. Without the ensuing sex and stabbing, the show offers fast-paced dialogue, the occasional camel, and the ending that Juliet deserved.

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Says writer Fiona Leonard: “I wanted to capture the shift that was happening around women’s place in society and how conversations around relationships were changing…These are unsettling times, but also exciting and filled with possibility.”

Elizabeth Haas

Elizabeth Haas is the editor of Expats.cz. She has lived in Prague for 12 years working as a writer and editor of cookbooks and travel guides. Her work has appeared in both Czech and American publications.

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