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Hubbub for Bolek Polivka at Baltimore Festival

June 21, 1986

BALTIMORE (AP) _ With officials of his government indicating their approval by attending, Czechoslovak playwright-actor Bolek Polivka performed in an international theater festival that one Czech government agency had earlier told him to boycott.

″He had a signed contract, and he upheld it,″ said Wayne Knickel, a spokesman for Theater of Nations festival.

Polivka and Chantal Poullain appeared Friday in his two-character play with mime called ″The Jester and the Queen,″ a comedy about the pursuit of power.

The two performers were called back to the stage repeatedly by the audience, said Nadine Bender, a festival official.

She said that Miroslav Houstecky, Czechoslovakia’s ambassador to the United States, and cultural attache Juraj Siroky were present at the performance.

Polivka initially had been ordered by the government agency that books foreign tours, Pragokoncert, not to appear.

The Czechoslovakian Embassy in Washington declined comment on the incident, as did Polivka.

The Washington Post, quoting Vaclav Zluva, press officer at the embassy, said Saturday that the mixup probably was ″an internal matter of the Pragokoncert,″ the government agency which books foreign tours.

Other authorities decided to let him perform, Zluva said.

It was the second incident at the festival. Earlier a production of George Orwell’s ″Animal Farm″ by the National Theater of Great Britain was dropped because of Soviet protests. The musical was shown in Baltimore outside the auspices of the festival, which will continue through June 29.

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