Since its foundation, Srnec Theatre - the 1st Black Light Theatre in the world – has belonged among the best known representatives of the Czech dramatic art in the world. The ensemble was established in 1961 in the middle of the avant-garde era. From the very beginning it made its mark as an ensemble of unique artistic qualities, which goes beyond the standard of most of its peers. The principle of the black light theatre, invented by the founder and artistic director Jiří Srnec, is based on a new creative exploitation of a simple trick, the so-called „black cabinet“, in which the actors dressed in black using props cannot be seen against the black background from the spectators‘ perspective. The props and all the other objects become able to move and they seem to live unique lives of their own. For Jiří Srnec and his performers, the effect of the trick is, of course, not the goal, but the means to achieve the artistic metaphor, implemented through the musically organized movement of plastic art objects and actors. The very first performance of the ensemble, which had already brought international attention, took place in 1959 in Vienna. The real debut for the ensemble, however, was its participation in the Theatre Festival in Edinburgh in 1962.
The performance, held in a sold-out festival arena was awarded by tumultuous ovation, which opened the way for Jiří Srnec Black Light Theatre to the world stages. Many more performances in Europe, America, Australia, Africa, and Asia followed. By now, the theatre organized about 300 international tours and participated in 77 theatre festivals. Under the artistic leadership of Jiří Srnec, the ensemble was applauded both by the audience and the critics, e.g. Premio Teatral „Juana Sujo“, Caracas, MAMBO pub Barcelona, Premio del Teatro El Espectador y la Critica Madrid, Premio – mejor cojunto Extranjero Vina del Mar, Premium World-Fest Certificate Missouri. The ensemble was chosen a s a representative of the Czech culture during the NATO Summit in Prague, 2002. More than 5 million spectators in 68 countries around the world have seen the performance of the Black Light Theatre by now. For example in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Costa Rica, Columbia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador , Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Chile, China, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Morocco, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tasmania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
Today the ensemble of the Black Light Theatre consists of young dynamic artists - dancers, actors and mimes. The heart of the theatre is the touring ensemble. Thanks to its exceptional mobility, the ensemble is able to perform abroad almost constantly, and while globetrotting, it has achieved a special position within European as well as within world culture. In 1993, the Prague ensemble that supplements the globetrotting one was established. In its repeated performances it trains young talented artists, who will be able to follow the tradition of the black light theatre in the future. Since 1999, the Black Light Theatre has performed 200 times a year, on average. The ensemble has introduced 20 original performances for black light theatre. Flying Bicycle, the last of them, has already been performed in Mexico, Greece, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil, and Italy.
In 2011, the team of Srnec Theatre in co-production with Laterna Magica has created the newest production of The National Theatre called “The Legends of Magic Prague”. In 2009, all the international tour organization was entrusted to the newly founded company – Srnec Productions. Its first tour to Argentina was the biggest tour that any Czech artistic company has ever realised to that country. Srnec Theatre visited 48 Argentinean cities and performed 56 shows. In 2014, Srnec Productions takes over all the production activities of Srnec Theatre and from 1th May the spectators are welcome to our new address: Palác Savarin, Na Příkopě 10, Prague 1.