Pavel Černík

* 1950

  • "There must have been someone among us because they knew a lot about us after a month-long tour of the West. They called Vladimír Marek in because he had brought home some Western porn. Vladimír then told us, 'Hey, they knew where I was, that I went to a gay club in Paris.' That was not pleasant. We explained to ourselves that there must have been someone among us. But we didn't investigate. Maybe since we were able to go somewhere at all, it meant that someone had to be there and that they recruited someone. For the most part, we told ourselves that nothing contestable was happening on the tours. Another time, we were in France again and an emigre, Šimona Kratinová, came to us with her boyfriend and gave us books from Škvorecký's publishing house. We passed the border with no problems, and nobody checked us. On the other hand, the person in question must have seen it. Even the director of the theatre, Miroslav Lukůvka, saw it, but he turned his head away and left. When he came to me later and asked what it was all about, I said that it was a meeting with friends who had come to greet us. What else was I to say."

  • "He (ideological supervisor Mr Nový) had already gone on the trip with us. He had a notebook and wrote everything down. His notebook was filling up, even though it was all innocent stuff at the core. We boarded the plane and the girls opened a (Western) newspaper, because Zora Ulbertová spoke perfect English. And at that time, Chernobyl had just exploded. That was huge for girls who had small children at home. They heard over the phone from home that there was no danger. The newspapers said it was the other way around, so the girls were startled. And Mr Nový took out his notebook and started writing. Then we came back home and he started yelling, 'The Dragon Theatre is not going anywhere, anywhere, anywhere!' He was going to shut down the theatre. We had a planned trip to Scandinavia ahead of us. And Mr Nový said again, 'Cancel it immediately, nothing, ban it!' And a battle broke out when the world-famous Swedish puppeteer Michael Meschke and others came forward and started fighting for us. The ambassador to Finland at that time was Husák's son, Ján Husák. They all put up a fight, and in the end, we did go."

  • "The Germans arrived there (in Libenice near Kolín), and the war was already over. And somewhere in the woods, they found a parachute. So they drove the whole village to the village square and asked who - where - what, and otherwise they would shoot everyone. In the end, they didn't because the Russians were so close that they had to run away. But they would still have done it. That was how my father's family experienced the end of the war. My mother, who was in the hospital in Prague Podolí at the time, was scarred for life by the events of the end of the war. They were treating German soldiers from the front there. When the Red Army arrived, the Russians were understandably extremely angry with the Germans for having devastated their land. They chased freshly operated soldiers away with kicks, so the soldiers were dying in the corridors. The Germans."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Hradec Králové, 24.01.2023

    duration: 02:57:01
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

The Dragon Theatre is never going anywhere ever again!

Pavel Černík in the Jesličky Theatre
Pavel Černík in the Jesličky Theatre
photo: Archive of Pavel Černík

Pavel Černík was born on 10 July 1950 in Tábor into a religious family of a nurse and a bookseller. His roots, however, go back to Wallachia, where his natural musical sensitivity comes from. Both parents were emotionally affected at the end of the war. His father was threatened with death by the Gestapo, and his mother witnessed the inhumane treatment of Germans by Soviet soldiers. Pavel Černík’s childhood was influenced on the one hand by the family’s evangelical faith and on the other by the communist propaganda of the 1950s in primary school. Although he graduated from a mechanical engineering school, Pavel Černík was drawn to music and art since childhood, learning the violin and later the guitar on his own. After compulsory military service, he applied for a job as a technician at the Dragon Theatre in Hradec Králové, where his sister Jana played. He has worked continuously in the theatre since 1975 in various positions for almost fifty years. He experienced the glorious era of the theatre during the creative trio Krofta - Vyšohlíd - Matásek and travelled with the acting troupe every year to Western countries during the normalisation period. He witnessed several conflicts between the communist regime and the dramaturgy and direction of the theatre, as well as the efforts of the whole troupe to do exceptional theatre work despite the regime. He devoted his entire life to music and theatre, and today, his two children follow in his footsteps.