Summer Shakespeare Festival

By Erin Naillon

Shakespeare fans can have a special treat every summer in Prague. Several of the Bard of Avon’s plays are put on – in Czech and Slovak.

William Shakespeare

The Past

Dissident playwright and then-President Václav Havel gave sufficient encouragement to artists that the Summer Shakespeare Festival took place for the first time in 1994 – at Prague Castle, no less. In 1998, the festival received a much-needed boost when Agentura Schok took over the organization; under the company’s management, the plays produced and the quality of the production improved tremendously. Havel’s successor, Václav Klaus, has supported the festival since 2004, and monetarily since 2005, through the Livia and Václav Klaus Foundation.

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The Present

The festival has grown to such an extent that even Prince Charles has shown an interest in it, writing a letter to show his support for the continuation of the event. As many as 87,000 tickets are sold each year, with more than 140 shows performed.


This year’s festival will have two locations in Prague: The Supreme Burgrave’s House in Prague Castle (where the first performances took place all those years ago), and Lichtenstein Palace, currently housing the Academy of Performing Arts, College of Music. Other performances can be enjoyed in the cities of Brno, Ostrava, Olšany, and Bratislava (Slovakia).


This year’s offer includes Richard III, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Measure by Measure (in Slovak). Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketportal. For more information, see the website:



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