Jiří Suchý

Jiří Suchý was born in 1931 in Pilsen. He spent the first five years of his life in Klatovy and since then has been living in Prague. He worked as an advertising graphic designer in the B a R (later renamed Propagační tvorba) studios. Together with the graphic artist Viktor Sodoma, he founded there the amateur band Akord club. He played the double-bass and wrote lyrics. Later on, he co-founded the Na zábradlí theatre, which staged his first play Kdyby tisíc klarinetů (If A Thousand Clarinets) in which he also acted. In 1959 he left the Na zábradlí theatre and in tandem with the composer Jiří Šlitr established the Semafor theatre, which he is still the artistic director of. It is a theatre showcasing original works. Suchý writes for it librettos, song lyrics and also music. At Semafor, Suchý and Šlitr performed as a comic duo right up until Šlitr’s death. After some time, Suchý established a new partnership with Jitka Molavcová, now stretching over the period of almost forty years. He has written for Semafor more than seventy plays, acted in most of them and directed many. In addition to his work in theatre, he has shot a host of films, appeared in a large number (today already impossible to ascertain) of television and radio programmes. Furthermore, he has displayed his graphic works and illustrations at some seventy exhibitions and has written several dozen books. Jiří Suchý has received many honours and prizes, ranging from a state honour, freedom of a city (Pilsen) to a Doctorate h.c. (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts). Following the death of Jiří Šlitr in 1969, Ferdninand Havlík became Jiří Suchý’s main artistic sidekick. The two wrote other unforgettable Semafor titles – Kytice (A Bouquet, 1970) based on K. J. Erben’s book of poetry. The last inseparable stage partner to Jiří Suchý is the actress, instrumentalist and singer Jitka Molavcová, with whom he has performed in the Semafor theatre, as well as before the television cameras, up to the present day.
Update: April 2007