Black-light theatre is based on an optical trick (the black cabinet trick), which takes advantage of the imperfection of the human eye: it cannot distinguish black on black. The trick itself is very simple to perform in the theatre: the audience cannot see an actor dressed in black against a black background. Before our very eyes, items and props controlled by actors dressed in black become capable of moving on their own. Inanimate objects suddenly convey dramatic action, to the extent that they become equal partners for live actors.
The basic black cabinet trick is more than ancient. It was invented in China and used to amuse Chinese emperors. It spread to Japan in the 18th century, where it was used in Japanese bunraku puppet theatre. George MELIÉS used the black-light trick in filming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A play with props was performed using an actor dressed in black in the 1950s by avant-garde French puppeteers, of which George LAFAYE, in particular, is regarded as the father of black-light theatre. Last but not least, we should not forget that the trick was employed by some of the greats of the theatre, for example STANISLAVSKI in his famous production “of “The Blue Bird”.
To make the black-light trick a sufficient basis for a theatre performance, it had to be elevated from an end to a means. Rather than merely conveying content, the effect becomes the starting point for dramatic work. This has led to the invention of a new stage language, which has become famous all around the world primarily thanks to Czech black-light artists. Since its beginning in the 1980s, TA FANTASTIKA Theatre has brought more intensive work with actors and dramatic situations to the poetry of black-light theatre. It has pioneered the use of unique and patented technical tricks such as actors flying in space before the audience’s eyes, or large-screen projections combined with live action and larger-than-life puppets, but there is also an emphasis placed on visual creativity and the integration of live music and singing. All this makes TA FANTASTIKA Theatre markedly different from other black-light theatres and has given its performances the perfect artistic blend of all technical and theatrical elements. TA FANTASTIKA Theatre offers this unique experience to both promoters and theatre-goers!