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Festival of humour combines music, visual art, mime and comedy

The annual Slovak festival of humour which marks the end of the summer vacations, resulted in several awards this year, as well as a lot of fun and entertainment for both children and adults. Golden Gander is the name given to the top prizes? awarded to the best representatives of humour of all genres at the Kremnické Gagy / Kremnica Gags event which celebrated its 31st year in 2011.

Past edition of Kremnica gags(Source: TASR)

The annual Slovak festival of humour which marks the end of the summer vacations, resulted in several awards this year, as well as a lot of fun and entertainment for both children and adults. Golden Gander is the name given to the top prizes? awarded to the best representatives of humour of all genres at the Kremnické Gagy / Kremnica Gags event which celebrated its 31st year in 2011.

Yet fun and irony can be a serious thing sometimes, especially when politics is involved. One of the prizes awarded is called Trafená Hus (The Hit Goose) and is awarded for things that stun even humorists who are used to making fun of almost everything, the TASR newswire wrote. This year it was awarded to the Bratislava District Court for, the citation sarcastically proclaimed, securing justice after 15 years by issuing a verdict requiring former Slovak president Michal Kováč to apologise to Ivan Lexa, the former head of the SIS spy agency, for stating that the latter had ordered the abduction of Kováč’s son.

Other, more complimentary, prizes included those for theatre and cabaret (which went to Naïve Theatre from Liberec in the Czech Republic, and Bratislava’s GunaGu Theatre), music (the All Star Refjudží Band from Prague, and Russian band Otava Yo), street and motion performances (Peter Shub, and the Old Karol Spišák Theatre from Nitra). Humour for children made a special category and a second Golden Gander went to Naïve Theatre, Liberec, as well as to the Puppet Theatre Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava.

Artistic humour and cartoons were represented by another category, in which Janusz Kapusta from Poland and Slovakia’s Marián Vanek won. Only Slovaks were eligible for the literary humour and journalism awards, and Golden Ganders this year went to Pavel Vilikovský and Ondrej Rosík. The Stano Radič Prize, named after the late entertainer and humorist, goes to the “Discovery of the Year” and was awarded by Radič’s widow, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, to the Divadelný Súbor Kľud from Kladzany and to Peter Rašev, in memoriam, for his political satire.

Part of the Kremnické Gagy was a travelling exhibition of political cartoons by Slovakia’s Martin ‘Shooty’ Šútovec and Daryl Cagle of the USA that had previously visited several Slovak towns and cities. It will now continue on to Nitra.

The Kremnica festival is also popular thanks to accompanying events that lure a host of visitors and locals. The performance of Shuba the clown was one of favourites of the first evening of the festival, while the All Star Refjudží Band and Slovak band Para attracted many young fans of humorous music.

The festival, which started as bit of intimate fun, has grown into large international event that, its organisers say, draws ever more people and ever more attention, and reminds us of what is inevitable in our lives and what improves them – humour in all its forms.

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