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Food, Art, Music and Everything-Like-That, Odds-and-Sods

Happiness Is…Jedward?

I think the rest of Europe was watching Eurovision last night.  The Czech Republic did not have a participating act, which begs the question: Why?  Did the Czechs decide they had something better to put their public money towards (you actually have to pay for the humiliation of participating in Eurovision) or was their proposed entry so bad that even Eurovision (who accepted Jedward for heaven’s sake) turned them down?  For the non-Brits amongst you, Jedward are two Irish twins with one name, who were unfortunately brought into our lives as a ‘pop rap duo’ on X-Factor and who, despite a total lack of perceivable talent or obvious appeal, persist on our TV screens today and achieved a top-selling record in a duet with Vanilla Ice. 

Ireland must be in a right pickle if this is the best they have...

So, Ireland put forward Jedward but the Czechs didn’t have an entry.  How bad must you be to fail to qualify in a contest that has to date displayed no standards at all in terms of melody, lyrics or performance?

Anyway, while the rest of Europe was enjoying this treat, I went to ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ (aka ‘Charlie Brown the Musical’) at thePrague Playhouse in Vinohrady.  It’s hard to know what is more surreal – millions of people evaluating the merits of Jedward as viable performers, or listening a woman depicting the live embodiment of a previously cartoon-based talking dog.

The production played on Broadway over 1,500 times, and this is its debut run in Prague.  Minimal Snoopy/Peanuts knowledge is required.  Knowing that Snoopy is a dog is probably the only background you need. It’s not a difficult plot to be honest and I think that all of us have basic Snoopy knowledge deep within (in the same way that we all know the lyrics to Miss American Pie). I found myself recognising the characters even though I’m sure I never read Peanuts as a child. I am reliably informed (by hubby, who was a Peanuts fan) that the show recreates in music form some of the most typical or memorable strips from Peanuts.   

Everybody loves a good loser (Charlie Brown), a wannabe hero (Snoopy), troubled artist (Schroeder) or a philosopher-theologian child (Linus). Some may also recognise the traits of bossiness and crabbiness displayed by Lucy.  The appeal of Charlie Brown and co has kept Peanuts in business for over 60 years, and this production makes it clear why.

It’s a really fun performance, with a small cast (Snoopy, Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder and Patty) and minimal set (two cartoon clouds and a red kennel that even I recognised). I was really impressed.  Jay DeYonker (Linus) and Caryn Stringer (Snoopy) gave particularly strong performances.  The venue’s great – small but sweet.  It’s probably suitable (or aimed at?) kids, but the audience (which was full) was entirely adult. It’s also on next weekend, so if you’re at a loose end it’s definitely worth checking out.  Will Noble at the Prague Post offers more insight here

The evening ends with the sketch Happiness Is, which includes:

Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band / And Happiness is walking hand in hand / Happiness is two types of ice cream, and knowing a secret.

Alternatively,  Happiness Is: having successfully avoiding Jedward performing to an international audience of millions.

Jedward's childhood aspirations...

Something to think about.  Have a lovely week.


About CzechingIn

A blog about an English lady living in Prague.


14 thoughts on “Happiness Is…Jedward?

  1. Bullies love easy targets this is why you are picking on Jedward. Anyone who doesn’t smile at these boys is a pretty miserable human!

    Posted by fern | May 15, 2011, 6:21 pm
  2. Hilarious blog! Having been in Europe for several years I am amazed that Eurovision continues to become more ridiculous ever year. The Irish seem to have chosen Jedward as they know they’re a joke when the other countries take it seriously. Moldova rocked, love the magic mushroom Gnomes!

    Fern – are you for real?? “Bullies love easy targets”? Hardly think some blogger pointing out their woeful act is really bullying is it? Think about it: A multi-millionaire is persuading two 19-old borderline simpletons to do the most ridiculous things in front of a crowd for cheap laughs and cash. Confessing to being one of the feckless crowd laughing at these puppets being exploited is probably more damning of your humanity than this blogger stating their view, correctly, that they are in fact talentless in every possible way.

    Posted by Curious George | May 15, 2011, 6:58 pm
  3. i think they are cyborgs for outer space.

    very funny cyborgs, but def not human.

    Side note – i can tell you that my friend is definitely not a miserable human or a bully (or cyborg, for that matter) she is AWEOSME and HILARIOUS.

    so there.


    Posted by Lucy | May 16, 2011, 10:52 am
  4. Fern – Jedward aside, this blogger is certainly NOT a miserable human – she is in fact one of the happiest, lovliest I have ever met. So stop bullying yourself!!

    Posted by Rachael | May 16, 2011, 3:25 pm
  5. So, I couldn’t help myself and here are random links to Czech acts sent to Eurovision in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Since then I believe the consensus was to try to waste the money elsewhere… 😉

    Kabat (2007) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoqfHO55HGw&feature=fvst (don’t ask… yes, they do have a large audience in this country… and no, they are not kidding… sadly)

    Tereza Kerndlova (2008) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgB5yQnOZ2U&feature=fvwrel (she’s apparently not a strong live singer…)

    Gypsy.cz (2009) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhZi62bzpUE (ehm?!)

    Otherwise, lovely blog – as per usual 😉

    Posted by KliKachka | May 16, 2011, 5:33 pm
  6. Hating Jedward is soooo last year.

    Posted by Chris | May 19, 2011, 10:12 am
  7. Jedward has talent or they will not be around at all. They are not just your cup of tea. if you can entertain and make people happy that’s a gift and that’s a talent. i regret reading this blog as i did not find any pleasure reading it – can i perceived it as lack of talent as well

    Posted by munchkinsdonut | May 19, 2011, 11:16 am
  8. this “joke” are now charting with Lipstick all over Europe, and Australia. who’s laughing hardest do you think?

    Posted by River | May 19, 2011, 11:21 am
  9. Oh come on guys, get real (and leave her alone!) Jedward are ok as ‘presenters’ but as musical performers I think they are far from talented. They are symptematic of the BigBrother reality TV generation, where in order to be a temporary celebrity all you have to do is be a bit weird, or loud, or a pair of weird loud twins. They fact that they resorted to Eurovision shows this – it is not a show known for producing or showcasing successful musicians.
    Munchkinsdonut – if you don’t like the blog, don’t read it. Your comment just sounded a bit mean.

    Posted by LittleLucy | May 19, 2011, 12:15 pm
  10. wow – thanks (I think) all for the comments. I did not foresee disliking jedward being controversial…you live and learn! I still stand my what I wrote – Jedward, not amazing. Charlie Brown at Prague Playhouse, very very good!

    Posted by CzechingIn | May 19, 2011, 12:17 pm
  11. The pro Jedward lot commenting on here have actually been to a Jedward concert or 10 and know first hand how awesome they are. Some people in the UK think it is the centre of the musical universe, it’s actually not.
    John and Edward Grimes are not as talentless as the UK media would want you to believe! They sing, they dance, they design their own clothes, they film, direct and edit their own music videos. They manage to come up with new interesting and funny answers to the same old questions they get asked all the time. All of this learned in the past two years, no drama school etc. they play violin and guitar and can run pretty damn fast too.
    Simon Cowel was 100% wrong about the pair of them.

    Posted by River | May 19, 2011, 1:56 pm
  12. Wow some extreme views on quite a funny blog!

    River – your viewpoint is rather worrying: They are rich, so they are good. Not sure this view is a great one to have is it? Am sure Mugabe and Gadaffi both have healthy bank accounts but it doesn’t make them great leaders does it…

    Personally, if Jedward were a comedy act, I’d agree they are valid. I might not like them but thats democracy. As they are actually a serious act (in their eyes) I agree with George that they are being exploited.

    Posted by Fellow struggler | May 19, 2011, 2:00 pm
  13. my view point is worrying. I made no reference to their income at all. They are genuinely good at what they do. Simon Cowell sees them on stage for less than five minutes and his first impression has become a UK fact. Even he admits he was wrong about them!

    Posted by River | May 19, 2011, 6:45 pm

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