Hotel Adria

Hotel Adria

In September 1927 the Liberated Theatre obtained its own licence, and along with this it acquired more lucrative premises in the Adria Arcade in Wenceslas Square, to which it moved from Umělecká Beseda in Malá Strana..

The small hall in the basement of the Hotel Adria had served originally as the headquarters of the renowned Bum Cabaret. Here performers like Emil Artur Longen, Eman Fiala, Ferenc Futurista, Saša Rašilov, etc. used to work. It was precisely E. A. Longen who had transformed this cabaret into the theatre called Revolutionary Stage. Among his principal stars he had, for example, the well-known comedian and actor Vlasta Burian.

Performances not infrequently reflected the social problems of the 1920s, but the audiences were not over-enthusiastic. E.A. Longen did not wish to give up his revolutionary programme, and so he reached for the works of E.E. Kisch (The Pimps, The Pimps or The Ascension of Tonka of the Gallows (Tonka Šibenice) – starring Xena Longenová in the main role). Likewise he produced Hašek‘s Good Soldier Švejk. It was Švejk that brought in the public. Nevertheless, the theatre’s left-wing radicalism soon brought it into conflict with the police and at the end of 1921 Longen’s theatre was closed for what was called security reasons.

Longen, however, returned to the theatre after a while, during the years 1925-1928 he worked here as a director, script editor, playwright and actor in what had by now become the comedy playhouse Vlasta Burian Theatre. He appeared in C. and K. Field Marshal, a play that is still popular today thanks to Lamač‘s film version with none other than Vlasta Burian in the leading role. When the Vlasta Burian Theatre left this small hall, it was here that the Liberated Theatre relocated from Umělecká Beseda in Malá Strana.

During the course of the 1928-1929 season the paths of the two theatres operated in parallel: Honzl‘s experimental productions and the V+W revues which were successful with the public. Both courses united for the production of Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Roi. However, this era came to an end when Honzl departed for the National Theatre in Brno in the autumn of 1929. One of his reasons was the fact that the interest of the audience, as well as the response of the critics, was mainly focused on the V+W Revue and the work of the composer, conductor and jazz-orchestra leader Jaroslav Ježek.

This guided walk is a part of the "Democracy on the Brink. Historical lessons from the late 1930s" project supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.

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