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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2022 - Voskovec & Werich


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LIBERATED THEATER

LIBERATED THEATER

The friends formed a duo in 1926. Voskovec had just returned from his studies in France, while Werich had been attending law school in Prague. The pair began working with the avant-garde Liberated Theater (1926–1938), where they performed their own play, the Vest Pocket Revue. It was a huge hit! The show drew inspiration from Charlie Chaplin and Dadaism, focusing on the absurd, and they performed as clowns, relying on improvisation. Jazz composer Jaroslav Ježek, whose popularity became immense in the inter-war period, also joined the theater and composed for the duo, a collaboration that lasted for ten years until his premature death. They produced 300 songs and numerous plays, filled with jazz, highbrow comedy, and political satires of contemporary political and societal problems, all while poking fun of the bourgeois. Czechoslovakia was at the peak of its cultural and intellectual revolution.


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