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13 Mar 2014 20:00

LiStOVáNí: Prague Voyeur Emil Hakl

The Prague advertising agency from Emil Hakl ´s memories comes to life in a staged reading by the LiStOVáNí ensemble. Hakl, leading Czech author and tireless observer of the everyday presents an idiosyncratic collage of bizarre stories from the 1990s Prague while the poetics of Prague´s pubs is given new dimensions by three actors combining reading, acting and music. A staged reading based on Emil Hakl’s debut novel Sabrina Black’s Intimate Box.

Admission: £7 (£5 concs.)
 0844 477 1000

Staged Reading with English subtitles by Listovani.cz with Lukas Hejlik, Vera Holla and Pavel Oubram
Translation and surtitles: Marek Tomin

Writer Emil Hakl’s journey through entrepreneurship and intimate relationships in his novel Sabrina’s Black Intimate Box is a tale of Prague of the 90s, self-mockery and humorous observations. Hakl’s story of idle love and longing for independence is brought to vivid life by Listovani’s actors in this staged reading, which creates a dramatized collage of movement and sketches. The unique mix of black humour and narrative of pure desperation confirm Hakl’s standing as the leading contemporary Czech writer, frequently compared to Bohumil Hrabal. Listovani, whose acclaimed performances include Dan Brown’s Inferno and Tomas Sedlacek’s Economics of Good and Evil, combine reading, acting and music giving a new dimension to this provocative and intimate novel.

Emil Hakl (the Czech Republic, b.1958), was awarded the prestigious Josef Skvorecky Prize for literature in 2011 for his novel Rules of Peculiar Behaviour (2010). He has so far published four novels, two collections of short stories and two books of poetry. His novel Of Kids & Parents (Twisted Spoon Press, translation Marek Tomin) was awarded the prestigious Magnesia Litera Book of the Year prize. In his book On Flying Objects (Coma Press, translation by Petr Kopet) Hakl returns to the genre of short stories, this time enriched with new narrative elements that have influenced comparisons between him and the great Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. Keeping in his style of self-mockery, Sabrina’s Black Intimate Box, published in 2002, was his debut novel and represents his personal take on life in Prague in the 90s.

Marek Tomin was born in Prague but grew up in England, where his family found refuge after being exiled from Czechoslovakia in 1980. He is the son of well-known dissident parents who were among the first to sign the human rights charter, Charter 77, in communist Czechoslovakia. Tomin is a graduate of Oxford University and now lives in Prague working as a freelance translator, journalist, contemporary art curator and a Greenpeace advisor. Tomin's translation of Hakl's novel Of Kids and Parents (Twisted Spoon Press, 2008) was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, his translation of Jáchym Topol's Nightwork (Portobello Books, forthcoming May 2014) was awarded one of English PEN's prestigious Writers in Translation grants. He is currently completing a translation of Emil Hakl's The Witch's Flight.

LiStOVáNí is project of staged readings focused on promoting outstanding writers and literature, led by actor Lukas Hejlik. The project now consists of 75 shows presenting Czech and international literature.





This event is kindly supported by the Czech Embassy in London.



The Courtyard Theatre, Bowling Green Walk, 40 Pitfield Street, London N1 6EU


13 Mar 2014 20:00


Czech Centre

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