O as Little Otik


TMEL, Prague, CZE
Viktor Prokop

Berta Doubková

Jan Froněk

Antonie Rašilovová, Jakub Müller, Nikolas Ferenc

For audiences aged eight and up.

Supported by DAMU

The performance is in Czech.

Teodor Alabazov
3 June 2021

O AS LITTLE OTIK A horror puppet show, created as a school project by students of the DAMU Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre, was met with acclaim at a number of festivals. The authors adapt a well-known fairy tale about little Otik using original and highly inventive means, including a variety of electronic components, chips, wires and diodes. ‘O’ stands for insatiable little Otik as well as for ‘on/off’, ‘obstacle’, ‘openmouthed’ or ‘offspring’…

TMEL found surprisingly creative ways of playing with printed circuit boards. Who would have thought that PCBs could be used to build big cities, and yet they also manage to transform into small houses, storks, and junkyards. The narrative structure also does not fall short of the show’s creative approach, and this combination makes this adaptation of a familiar Czech fairy tale simply brilliant.
– Isabel Sulger Büel, Intrige.ch

At the hands of three fantastic puppeteers, a story unfolds at a table. One dressed in science fiction that varies and narrates a familiar fairy tale without words. The story is told in such a way that the miniature puppets (thanks to precisely constructed scenes) truly stir up the audience – the scene depicting the torment of the childless woman is simple, yet highly emotional. A dominating feature, however, is the set design, which builds on a versatile combination of old motherboards transformed into a cityscape or the wall of a house. This is undoubtedly a very promising achievement from director Viktor Prokop, set designer Berta Doubková, and other members of the creative team. We can surely look forward to their next productions.
– Michal Zahálka, Loutkář

The contextual shift of the little Otik’s story from a private family affair (albeit with horror undertones) to a global existential story is highly original, contemporary and perfectly organic. The basic plot is maintained but enriched with the topical issues of humanity’s new idol in the form of unlimited economic growth, the climate crisis and environmental protection, as well as intrinsically human concepts such as the cycle of life. It is of no coincidence that Berta Doubková’s set design is made out of electronic waste. She has given the old parts a new life in juxtaposition to natural materials. O as Little Otik is a production of unprecedented quality both in the context of student works and the Czech puppetry as a whole.
– Adéla Vondráková, Loutkář

TMEL Founded in 2021, TMEL is a group of six students from the DAMU Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre. Viktor Prokop studies directing and dramaturgy. His passion is to create new worlds and bring forth new ideas of functionality through theatre as well as other media. Berta Doubková studies set design and is currently focused mainly on original puppet shows and object theatre. Jan Froněk holds a degree in direction and dramaturgy; he composes incidental music and explores the use of gaming principles in theatre productions. Jakub Müller studies acting, where he finds interest particularly in puppets and the phenomenon of travelling theatre; he is a member of the travelling theatre company ‘Budenebude kůň’. Antonie Rašilovová focuses on auteur-style theatre, performance, drama, puppet, and radio acting. Nikolas Ferenc studies acting and enjoys vivacious theatre and stand-up. Together, they are searching for a common theatrical language and favour collective creative works. O as Little Otik is the company’s very first production. It was presented at several festivals, including Puppeteers Chrudim, 4+4 Days in Motion, One Flew Over the Puppeteer’s Nest, Skupa’s Pilsen, and the Figura Theaterfestival in Switzerland, where the production was nominated for the 2022 Grünschnabel Prize.