Black Light Theatre of Prague


1 900 performances


D. Šedivák, P. Toman, E. Roztočilová (Grygarová), J. Studničková, K. Leixner, B. Dufek, D. Hirschkorn

Length of performance:

70 minutes

About show:

The show Faust was inspired by the classical work of J. W. Goethe. The confrontation of this classical subject matter with the black theatre format resulted in an innovative authorial project mixing black theatre with musical numbers, dynamic choreography and original incidental music, which favourably complements the universally relevant story of a man who hungered for knowledge, power and eternity, and the price he paid for that.

The creators of the show were inspired not only by the universally relevant text, but also by the poetics of traditional Czech puppet plays. The breadth of the theme presented the authors with a wide array of possibilities for employing black theatre effects which require absolute control over technical details as well as lighting and sound design.

Faust was universally positively received by the audience, as documented by the fact that nine seasons after its premiere, it is still a staple of the Black Light Theatre of Prague stage.

The Faust Legend

Faust yearns for absolute knowledge, beauty and power. He seeks to fulfil his desire through magic but is unable to learn everything. He often talks to the Devil—Mephistopheles—but not even the Devil can answer all of his questions. He therefore signs a contract with him. The Devil will serve him for 24 years and through his power, Faust will attain all earthly knowledge, youth, beauty and power. However, Faust soon realizes that even the contract with the Devil fails to bring the expected fulfilment of his desires and that the answers to his interrogations about the essence of being remain concealed from him. The contract with the Devil is coming to term, Faust’s soul is to be taken to Hell. Will true love save him?

The legendary Faust is based on an actual historical character, Dr. Johann Faust (cca 1480–1540), a German alchemist from the Middle Ages of whom tales were told already during his life that he had a pact with the Devil. This legend made the subject of many literary treatments. One of the oldest ones is the German version from 1578 entitled The History of Dr. Johann Faust. Very well-known adaptations include for instance English playwright Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (play, cca 1600) or Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Faust (dramatic poem, 1806—1st part, 1832—2nd part).

Faust in Prague

In Prague’s Charles Square, you can find a building connected with Faust’s legend, referred to as “Faust’s house”. According to legend, this house was one of the residences of the famous doctor Faust and it was from its tower that the Devil carried Faust away to Hell after the blood-signed contract came to term. Inexplicable stains have been appearing on the tower’s vaulted ceiling ever since…

The legend probably appeared because several owners of the house were interested in natural sciences and conducted extensive chemical experiments there. One of them was the well-known court alchemist of emperor Rudolph II, Edward Kelley.

(from 2006 onwards, 1900 performances so far)