Dejvické Theatre: Theremin

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Lev Teremin lived through most of the 20th century (1896–1993) and his life would deserve to be entered into the Guinness Book of Records if there was a chapter: a man with the most remarkable life story.

He was born in Petrograd, studied engineering as well as violoncello. Since the early 1920s he devoted himself to perfecting his own invention (thereminvox) which was originally constructed as an alarm and as such presented even to V. I. Lenin in his study room. This unusual device producing tones on a principle of electromagnetic waves intrigued Lenin in such a way that he sent Teremin on a concert tour around Russia, at that time in the middle of a civil war. Lenin saw the thereminvox as a perfect instrument to promote his plan of the electrification of Russia. And thus an inventor transformed into a musician for whom his instrument became his life-long fate.

Petr Zelenka’s play is set between 1928 and 1938, the years that Teremin spent in the United States where he made a triumphant arrival, thrilled audiences in sold-out concert halls and managed to launch a serial production of thereminvox. However, his popularity wained after the Stock Market Crash, he also went through a divorce with his first wife followed by a secret marriage to a black dancer. He eventually returned to Russia in 1938 under unknown circumstances. Although his friends in the U.S. were convinced that he did not survive the atrocities of Stalin’s concentration camp Magadan, Teremin returned from there after a year thanks to aircraft designer Tupolev’s intervention and worked for the Russian secret police until a very advanced age. He died in 1993 at the age of 97.

Written, directed by: Petr Zelenka

Actors: Ivan Trojan, David Novotný, Martin Myšička, Jiří Bábek, Zdeňka Žádníková, Klára Melíšková, Jaroslav Plesl, Eliška Boušková, Pavel Šimčík, Václav Jiráček, Petr Koutecký

About Dejvické Theatre

In October 2017, Dejvické Theatre will celebrate the quarter of a century that has passed since its founding. During that time it has built a reputation as one of the most popular and most visited Czech theatres. The consistently sold-out theatre offers performances of different genres that have a common denominator: good theatre, with clarity and an emphasis on acting personalities. Since its inception, the theatre has been theatre of the year five times, and a number of major awards have been won not only by plays but also by individual artists, with nominations every year.

Venue Details & Map

Czech Centre London

116 Long Acre
Covent Garden
+44 (0)20 7307 5180

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