Interlude in Prague: An exclusive look into recreating the sumptuous world of Mozart

Exclusive in The Independent


Though Mozart’s cinematic story has been somewhat dominated by the towering classic that is Amadeus, new film Interlude in Prague looks to take inspiration from one of his most famous works, Don Giovanni.

Though the dates and locations here are real, the film makes daring use of Mozart’s opera to paint a new, fictitious story about the composer, in a similar manner to 1998’s Shakespeare in Love.

Taking place over the course of several visits to Prague, Mozart (Aneurin Barnard) is invited to the city by Baron Salok (James Purefoy), who bears a certain reputation for vanity and self-obsession.

That said, Mozart feels immediately at home with his new patron, and launches work on a new opera to be staged at the Nostitz Theatre.

However, Saloka’s betrothed, Zuzanna Lubtak (Morfydd Clark), a talent soprano, falls in love with Mozart and the pair begin a passionate affair, one that has disastrous and tragic consequences.

Directed by John Stephenson, the film also stars Les Miserables‘ Samantha Barks, Ade Edmondson, and Dervla Kirwan.

We’ve got an exclusive look at the making of the film, exploring both its use of magnificent real locations, and the creation of its extravagant, intricate costumes.

Interlude in Prague hits UK cinemas 25 May, before arriving on DVD and Digital HD from 29 May.

Guardian rising star of 2017: INTERLUDE IN PRAGUE’s Morfydd Clark


Seen next in Interlude in Prague, rising star Morfydd Clark was recently profiled in The Guardian:

In her professional debut, Morfydd Clark was upstaged by a lamb. She’d nabbed the title part in Blodeuwedd – “it’s the Welsh Juliet” – staged on a Snowdonian hillside in 2013. But as if elaborate Welsh-language poetry and swarms of midges weren’t challenging enough, one evening “this lamb came on – it was in July when they’re really not little and cute anymore – and baaa-ed loudly through the love scene.”

Lamb aside, Clark has had little problem holding her own on stage, and these days her fellow performers include Glenda Jackson, Dominic West and Rhys Ifans. She’s played the actual Juliet opposite Freddie Fox’s Romeo, won praise from critics in Gary Owen’s Violence and Son at the Royal Court, and starred in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar. She rounded off 2016 by playing Cordelia opposite Glenda Jackson’s King Lear at the Old Vic.

“I knew her as a politician and found her fascinating; she wiped the floor with anyone, because she can perform,” says Clark, who was thrilled to play her daughter, especially getting a “cuddle” each night while playing dead.

Do we need to see more gender-blind casting? “With Shakespeare, there’s no reason not to,” Clark insists, before adding that it’s no substitute for writing towering parts for women. “I want men to be asking to play great female parts!”

Still, she’s had no problem winning juicy roles, and they keep her coming back to the theatre. Clark has given notable screen performances in The Falling and opposite Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship, but while she loves films, “as a girl, often the characters you’re auditioning for in the theatre are more significant”. She was raised in Cardiff, and dropped out of school at 16, having struggled with dyslexia and ADHD. “I had zero confidence, I didn’t do well, I was in trouble a lot.”

Her mother, who works in child development, told her: “You’re not sitting here, wasting your life”, and so Clark applied to the National Youth Theatre of Wales, the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and Welsh National Youth Opera. She got in to all three. “It was totally life-changing. Not just being on stage, but spending time with adults who didn’t just tell me off.”

After attending the National Youth Theatre of Wales, she studied at Drama Centre London – a wrench to leave her beloved Cardiff, but now very much home. In 2017, she will be seen in Interlude in Prague, a film about Mozart, and is currently auditioning for plays. She says: “I’ve done two Shakespeare tragedies, so I’d desperately like to do comedy. It would be nice not to die.”

Interlude in Prague’s Morfydd Clark, Stars of Tomorrow 2016


Having played Mrs Dai Bread Two in a school production of Under Milk Wood, she went on to study at the National Youth Theatre of Wales and Drama Centre London.

After graduation, Clark appeared in the BBC’s A Poet In New York, about Dylan Thomas’s fatal visit to the city, Channel 4’s four-part drama series New Worlds and, on film, in Carol Morley’s The Falling.

She then enjoyed a strong run of theatre performances, including in Olivier-nominated Violence And Son by Welsh playwright Gary Owen and as Cecile in Les Liaisons Dangereuses alongside Dominic West and Janet McTeer.

In an ideal world, the Welsh actress, based in London, would continue to work in both film and theatre. “You have to be a lot more patient with film,” she says. “You do it and then you have to wait for ages to see it yourself, and then you have to wait again for an audience to see it. With theatre, you get immediate affirmation every evening, or the opposite.”

When it comes to film, Clark likes to work with writer-directors “because you collaborate in a different way”.

As well as working with Morley on The Falling, Clark was seen earlier this year in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendshipas Frederica, the daughter of Kate Beckinsale’s Lady Susan Vernon.

Having fulfilled a “dream” by playing Juliet opposite Freddie Fox’s Romeo last year, next up for Clark is Deborah Warner’s King Lear at London’s Old Vic theatre, where she will play Cordelia opposite Glenda Jackson’s patriarch.

Clark jokes: “As soon as I’m cast in something, it’s there in my mind constantly, so King Lear is with me everywhere at the moment.”

Variety’s First Look: Aneurin Barnard Plays Mozart in ‘Interlude in Prague’


Variety has been given exclusive access to the first-look images for “Interlude in Prague,” which is shooting in the Czech capital. The film, which portrays a few turbulent months in the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, stars Aneurin Barnard, James Purefoy and Samantha Barks.

Barnard, whose credits include “The White Queen” and “War & Peace,” plays the composer at a time when has been brought to Prague by the vain and self-obsessed Baron Saloka. The evil aristocrat is played by Purefoy, who was serial killer Joe Carroll in Fox’s “The Following,” and is a slave owner in the “Roots” reboot.

Rising star Morfydd Clark, who appeared recently in Whit Stillman’s “Love and Friendship,” plays the beautiful soprano Zuzanna Luptak, who is betrothed to Saloka but falls in love with Mozart. Saloka, a psychopath, sexual predator and serial rapist, develops an overwhelming hatred that results in callous brutality and murder. Samantha Barks, whose credits include “Les Miserables,” is Josefa.

At the start of the shoot, director John Stephenson said: “A love story and a tragedy of epic proportions, the characters, the passions, heartbreak and awful outcome could just as easily exist in a contemporary story. I intend to shoot this with fast-moving camera and use modern post-production techniques to capture the energy and atmosphere of a modern thriller. The result will be a glorious heart-in-mouth solar plexus knockout.”

The film is produced by Productive International’s Huw Penallt Jones and Hannah Leader, and production design is by Luciana Arrighi.

London-based Carnaby Intl. is handling worldwide sales rights for the film, and will be taking it to market at next month’s Cannes Film Festival.


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‘Interlude in Prague’ round-up! Social media highlights as production continues

As the upcoming Mozart drama Interlude in Prague continues production in the Golden City, check out some highlights from Social-savvy cast & crew:


‘Interlude In Prague’ starts shoot, adds cast

Morfydd Clark, Ade Edmundson and Charlotte Peters have all joined the biographical drama about Mozart.

Interlude In Prague, which stars Aneurin Barnard as Mozart, has commenced a six-week shoot in the eponymous Czech capital.

Joining a cast that already includes James Purefoy(Solomon Kane) and Samantha Banks (Les Miserables) is Morfydd Clark (Love & Friendship), Ade Edmundson (War & Peace) and Charlotte Peters (Pound Of Flesh).

The story follows Mozart as he composes his operatic masterpiece Don Giovanni. While visiting Prague, the composer becomes embroiled in a turbulent narrative of lust and murder.

John Stephenson (Animal Farm) is directing from a script by debutant Brian Ashby. Huw Penallt Jones is producing for UK-based Productive International alongside Hannah Leader.

London-based Carnaby International are handling worldwide rights and, having introduced the title at EFM, will be commencing sales at Cannes in May.

Stage Stars Samantha Barks and Morfydd Clark Join ‘Interlude in Prague’

Stage stars Samantha Barks and Morfydd Clark are headed to Prague!

The Daily Mail writes that the pair of leading ladies will appear in the upcoming Mozart film INTERLUDE IN PRAGUE, opposite previously announced James Purefoy and Aneurin Barnard.

No word on Barks’s role, but Clark will play ‘Zuzanna’, described as “an opera singer who meets and ‘engages’ with the composer (Barnard).”

Directed by John Stephenson with a screenplay by Brian Ashby, INTERLUDE IN PRAGUE is based on true-life events and is set in the city in 1787. Variety describes the project as “an intense and emotional narrative of love, lust and murder” that “follows the story of a few turbulent months in the short life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that influenced the creation of the opera ‘Don Giovanni.'”

Filming begins in Prague next month.

Barks will next be seen in the films BITTER HARVEST, NEW AMSTERDAM and CHOCOLATE CAKE. She recently led the Berkeley Rep premiere of the musical adaptation of AMÉLIE. Her theatre credits include CHICAGO at The Hollywood Bowl, OLIVER! and CABARET on tour in the UK, and the West End’s LES MISERABLES (as well as its 25th anniversary show at the O2). She also starred as ‘Eponine’ in Tom Hooper’s film version LES MIS.

Clark recently appeared on in the BBC movie A POET IN NEW YORK and on the big screen in THE FALLING, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. A stage vet, the actress recently starred in Gary Owen’s new play VIOLENCE AND SON at the Royal Court upstairs, in ROMEO AND JULIET at the Crucible, and in LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Donmar Warehouse.