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5 Nov 2016 19:30

Dejvické Theatre: Theremin

A play based on the incredible story of Russian scientist, musician, and secret spy Lev Theremin (1896—1993). Focusing on Theremin's stay in the USA, Petr ‘Buttoners’ Zelenka, one of the wittiest Czech playwrights and filmmakers, explores Theremin's meteoric rise to fame as the inventor of the theremin who thrilled audiences in sold-out concert halls while being run by the Russian secret service. Theremin is brilliantly portrayed by Czech film and theatre star Ivan Trojan.

Made in Prague Festival Gala Opening with a performance by theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina (Lev Theremin's granddaughter) during the interval.

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
In Czech with English surtitles


Nominated for the Alfred Radok Award
Ivan Trojan (Theremin) nominated for the Thalia and Alfred Radok awards.

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.

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.

: £20 - £25 + £1.90 booking fee
Online booking


6 November 2016
Greenwood Theatre, 7:30pm
Why is God sitting on the bench
Based on Irvine Welsh's collection of short stories and film screenplay The Acid House

7 November 2016
Greenwood Theatre, 7:30pm
A psychological thriller with a happy ending

Part of Made in Prague Festival
5 Nov - 2 Dec 2016





Greenwood Theatre (King´s College), 55 Weston Street, London, SE1 3RA


5 Nov 2016 19:30


Czech Centre

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