Arctic Robinson Or the Unbelievable Wanderings of Jan Eskymo Welzl

A narrative on the great journey to fulfil one's dream, beyond the Arctic Circle
Vojta Švejda

Language barrier

The performance is intended for children.

Story by: Vojta Švejda and the book "Thirty Years in the Golden North", " Ice Stories"
Set by: Radka Mizerová
Technical assistance: Jakub Hybler
Performed by: Vojta Švejda, Jan Beneš, Kateřina Housková
Producer: Dagmar Kantorková
Animation: Zdeněk Durdil
Music: Jan Kalivoda
Created by: Vojta Švejda, Jen Beneš, Kateřina Housková, Radka Mizerová

Through our story of Jan Welzl, the great Czech adventurer and polar explorer, we will take you to these lands on Earth ruled by harsh nature and where only the most rugged survive; to the kingdom of ice, way beyond the Arctic Circle, called the Arctic. We will take you more than a hundred years back to the time when these areas were, for the most part, unknown and were just white spaces on the map. These lands swarmed with many stories and myths. They were crying out to be surveyed and explored and challenged adventurers to find the destination called the North Pole.

If you want you can join us on this journey to the places called the World's End, where the Eskimos lived their primitive but skilful life. Come to see how they hunted and survived in these rough conditions without the equipment we have today.

It isn't easy to reach these lands even today, but Jan Welzl succeeded, literally on his own two feet. As a young locksmith apprentice he travelled to the Balkans for work; he then went on a ship as a boiler man and labourer for a journey around Africa, and later he travelled across the oceans to Siberia. Here's where he told himself, 'What if I travelled through Siberia to the Ice Sea and saw how they live there'. And, "What if I" was his only preparation to fulfil his dream. He went alone, guided by his instinct, great resolution, fantasy and courage, rather than the map. He travelled across the whole of Siberia and reached the New Siberian Islands beyond the Arctic Circle. Here he blasted his own cave in a rock where he lived and from where he then started his expeditions to the North and Alaska. He also got to know the local Eskimos on the islands and learned their way of life. He was quite skilful, as he stayed for over thirty years in these lands and also became the leader and captain of the New Siberian Islands. Our story is not only about his great journey to the North but also about the great desire and courage to fulfil his great dream.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, The Capital of Prague, Motus o.s., Alfred ve dvoře

The performance is a part of the New Web project (2009).