La Ronde

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January 2024 Next

Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) wrote La Ronde at the end of the 19th century, but he did not have the courage to present it to the public at that time. The play was staged only two decades later, in Vienna and Berlin, resulting in a scandal that ended with a fight and charges brough against the theatre management, the author and actors. While such a fuss is hardly conceivable today, Schnitzler’s “ronde” (or whirl) of ten dialogues remains, surprisingly, no less provocative. The set of closed encounters, each involving a sexual intercourse, is mutually interconnected more than might seem at first glance: not only one of the characters in each act appears in the following one, but there are also layered and recurrent motives and topics, of which sex is just one. Indeed, Schnitzler explores primarily social inequality, predetermined scenarios, the inability to abandon established routines, as well as love, loneliness, aging and death. Read superficially, the play is about sex; yet a deeper insight – pursued by the French director Arthur Nauzyciel on the stage of the Estates Theatre – gives an account of the society at the turn of centuries, and time. Everyone seems to be on the run from something that never happened to places that never existed...

The play of the Austrian dramatist and prose writer was newly translated to Czech by Pavel Novotný (1976), a poet and Germanist and holder of the Magnesia Litera award, who pays special attention to the onomatopoeic qualities of the Czech language. Schnitzler’s La Ronde brings a new director to the NT Drama after a long time – the distinguished French stage director Arthur Nauzyciel, director of the Théâtre National de Bretagne (National Theatre of Brittany – TNB), acknowledged for highly stylised dramatic expression and meticulous work with literary texts. Indeed, the omnipresent emptiness of human relationships, nowadays often reduced to mere satisfaction of erotic and sexual needs, has been a theme he has focused on in several of his previous productions. Nauzyciel’s La Dame aux Camélias was a great theatre event in France before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Program and cast






Parlour Maid


Young Gentleman



Young Wife




Little Miss










Pavel Novotný

Stage director

Arthur Nauzyciel


Marta Ljubková


Riccardo Hernández

Costume design

Marek Cpin

Lighting design

Scott Zielinski

Sound design

Xavier Jacquot


Phia Ménard

Assistant choreographer

Andrea Opavská

Estates Theatre

The Estates Theatre today


The Estates Theatre is one of the most beautiful historical theatre buildings in Europe. It has been part of the National Theatre since 1920. The Opera, Drama and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the Estates Theatre.




The Estates Theatre is one of the most beautiful historic theatre buildings in Europe. Its construction was initiated by the enlightened aristocrat František Antonín Count Nostitz Rieneck, led by the desire to aggrandise his native city as well as the souls of its inhabitants. The construction lasted less than two years and the Theatre was opened in 1783. This project, extremely important for the Prague of the time, was in keeping with the zeitgeist of the late 18th century, a time when national theatres were being built at European courts, royal seats and cultural centres in the spirit of the Enlightenment idea that a generally accessible theatre is a moral institution demonstrating the cultural level of the nation.

The first, sporadic Czech-language performances took place in 1785. From 1812 onwards there were regular Sunday and holiday matinees. At that time, these performances became to a certain degree a political matter too. Thus arising in the difficult years following the failed revolution in 1848 was the idea of a Czech National Theatre.



By car to the National Theatre car park

To the centre (OldTown), approach on Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk embankment) in the direction from the Dancing House, at the crossroads in front of the National Theatre turn right to Divadelní street and then right again to Ostrovní street to the National Theatre car park. Parking costs 50 CZK/h. 

From there, walk to the Estates Theatre along Národní street, then 28. října street, turn left on to Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street. 


Other nearby secure car parks:

Kotva department store (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh.

Palladium department store (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh, or to the Powder Gate through Celetná street to Ovocný trh.


By tram

By daytime trams Nos. 6, 9, 18 and 22 or night trams Nos. 53, 57, 58 and 59 to the stop “Národní třída”, then by foot along Národní street, then 28. října street, turn left to Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street.

By daytime trams Nos. 5, 8, 14 and 26 or night trams Nos. 51, 54 and 56 to the stop “Náměstí Republiky”, then on foot around the Municipal House to the Powder Gate, on Celetná street to Ovocný trh.

By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14, 24 or night trams Nos. 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Jindřišská”, then on foot along Nekázanka / Panská streets, turn left to Na Příkopě street and then right to Havířská street (from Na Příkopě street you can also walk through the Myslbek arcade).


By metro

To the station “Můstek”, lines A and B (green and yellow), then on foot through Na Můstku street and right to Rytířská street.

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