Ursula Martinez' stories and emails

It’s been a while since we have really taken advantage of living in this cultural hub but now we are getting into a stream of events again and hopefully I’ll get around to blog about them.

This weekend started off with a visit to a black box. Not just any box however it was Miroslaw Balka’s Box of Darkness at Tate Modern. A huge steel box that as you entered it completely covered you in darkness. It is 30 meters deep and as you walk in you can’t see anything – until you hit the back wall. A quite eerie sensation produced by simple means.

Last night we went to a sold out Pit at the Barbican to see Ursula Martinez. If that name doesn’t ring a bell you might remember the video of her doing a magic striptease trick that made it’s rounds on the interweb around 2006. She never intended for her act to be film but it did and eventually ended up online which caused a torrent of attention and fan mail.

Ursula Martinez : My Stories, Your Emails

Now she has turned this unsought celebrity status into a new show called My Stories, Your Emails which we saw last night and it was hilarious. First part was her telling embarrassing and funny stories from her life unrelated to the video. Then she showed the infamous clip and second part was her reading emails she received as response to the video. She did this while showing pictures sent along by the emailers and she impersonated the different accents of the people who have written her. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and so did Ann and who knows when I can watch striptease with her again without complaints 😉

We didn’t really know anything about the show before we went but it has been interesting to read up on the reviews and criticism of the ethics – or lack thereof of the show.

How to spend 4 days in Prague

Daniel was one of my house mates from Joint House in Ann Arbor. We had not really been in touch since I left Michigan but last week he contacted me through Facebook and said that he would come to Prague.

Its been a while since friends has stopped by Prague *hint*hint* so it was a great surprise to hear Daniel was coming. I had a great time hanging out with him for a couple of days talking about old days of Joint House and the cool parties we had as well as what we had been up to the last couple of years. I realized that Daniel and another house mate of ours live in Berlin now, so I should try and see if I can make a proper trip up there.

Palav Akropolis - music venue and theatre

Daniel did 4 days of Prague right after my head, plenty of culture and plenty of beer. We started out Sunday night at Akropolis with reggae. Monday he did the the city center with Old Town Square and Charles Bridge etc. At night he went with another friend to see some underground stuff at the skate ramp on one of the islands and ended up clubbing at Roxy. Tuesday he did the Museum of Modern Art and the Prague Castle. In the evening I went with him to Laterna Magika (Magic Latern) to see a play and later on we continued to a basement bar with dressed up people in Malostranska for the rest of the night. Wednesday he saw Museum of Communism and the beautiful cubist museum. At night he rocked to two live bands at the very unique and wicked Cross Club with another friend. Thursday we went for breakfast together before he headed back home.

If I were here for a few days Id do something like that :)

One thing I hadnt done before and hadnt thought of before Daniel mentioned it was to check out some Black Light Theatre. Czech Republic and Prague became famous for their pantomimes using mixed media in the sixties. They even built a special stage for these plays at the national theatre in this building called Laterna Magika that looks like its wrapped in bubble-wrap.

Czech National theatre - Laterna Magika

The show we went to see was Wonderful Circus which turned out to be hilarious, partly intentional, partly because the show is some 30 years old. I cant really explain it but this is the start of the show;

Two clowns are hatched out of two eggs washed ashore by the waves. Before they know where they are, they are confronted by the Tempter, the symbol of the snares and deceptions of life, and by Venus, the vision of mysterious beauty, which leads them to set out on a pilgrimage.

The show uses pantomime and black light theater on a background of three projection screens. Parts of the storyline is going on in the film clips projected and parts on the stage. The characters would jump from one media to another in a quite imaginary manner.
I think the price is a bit steep at 730czk for regular tickets but I must say it was good entertainment. Here are the two clowns trying to catch the fleeing Venus:

Wonderful Circus

Two weeks ago I was also in the theatre to see an English play. I didnt get around to blog about it but Karen did.

To hint some more at those people that could be tempted by a trip to Prague I might add that Daniel found a hotel room for 15eur(!) per night on HRS.de. It was quite basic but it was 5 min from my place, clean and included breakfast. For a better alternative try and get in touch with Laus for some Prague Apartments.