Spejbl & Hurvínek Theater in Prague
The Spejbl (Spaybul) and Hurvínek (Hurveenek) Theatre was established in Pilsen in 1930 by Prof. Josef Skupa (18921957) as the first professional puppet theatre in Czechoslovakia. Its main characters Spejbl (1920) and Hurvínek (1926) had found previous success on the amateur puppetry scene in popular cabaret shows.
The traveling theatre was based in Pilsen until 1942. In January 1944, Professor Skupa was arrested by the Gestapo, convicted of the anti-fascist resistance and the Nazi authorities closed the theatre down. In February 1945, Skupa managed to escape from his prison in Dresden when it burnt down and shortly after the war, in October 1945, he opened the S + H Theatre based permanently in Prague, where it has remained to this day.
Following Skupa’s death, his pupil Miloš Kirschner (1927 – 1996), took on the role of both Spejbl and Hurvínek. Beforehand, he and Skupa had alternated the roles. At the end of his life, by means of an open letter, Skupa named Kirschner his successor. Thus, the theatre continued with its artistic endeavors to depict a grotesquely humorous and satirical view on life. In the end, Miloš Kirschner played both roles for 13 years longer than Prof J. Skupa, in addition, he wrote and directed the plays. Likewise, he introduced a tradition of acting out the play in the language of the host country.
Metro: Dejvická (line A)