“What should a viewer of a new performance by Strzępka and Demirski (staged at the Polish Theatre in Poznań) be prepared for?”
“Probably many viewers expected something scandalous, or at least harsh criticism of modern elites. After all, we got used to the level of radicalism expressed in performances prepared by the team Strzępka and Demirski, such as for example There Was Andrzej Andrzej Andrzej And Andrzej–an invitation for the funeral of Andrzej Wajda still alive at that time, or The Undivine Comedy. I’m Gonna Tell God Everything staged at the Stary Theatre in Cracow.”
“In K. we may expect an even more cruel diagnosis of contemporary Poland, after all, it is obvious that the main character is none other than Jarosław Kaczyński. Fortunately, the duo Strzępka and Demirski does not choose easy solutions and does not feed the audience with the political pastiche, such as we are experiencing in the case of Ucho Prezesa (The Ear Of The Chairman). To the contrary, they dare to carry out deeper and more serious analysis of the Polish political scene. What are therefore their conclusions? Unfortunately, they are rather apocalyptic than derisive.” – Stanisław Godlewski Gazeta Wyborcza Poznań no 260 online
Warsaw, Nowy Teatr; Studio theatre-gallery; The Zygmunt Hübner Powszechny Theatre; TR Warszawa; Le Quai Centre Dramatique National Angers Pays de la Loire
Franz Kafka The Trial
Directed by Krystian Lupa
Set design and adaptation: Krystian Lupa
Costumes: Piotr Skiba
Video projections: Bartosz Nalazek Premiere: November 15th, 2017
“Someone must have been spreading lies about Josef K, for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning.”
These are the opening lines of the most mysterious and provocative novel of world literature. The further we dive into persistent sentences, the darker the image gets… We’ll never find out why Joseph K. was arrested or what he was accused of… We’ll never know whether he is, in fact, innocent or not. Neither will he…
He knows less and less, yet he makes desperate efforts in an uneven struggle with the Unknown. But how to understand, or accept the strategy of this struggle when the confrontation of both sides is in contradiction with the general sense of logic and with reality?
And yet, the intrusive reality of what happens does not allow us to remain indifferent, as it keeps on bringing to mind unsettlingly personal analogies…This is I; these are us–WE ARE ARRESTED…
The journey lasts; this is a somnolent flight into dark ABSURDITY, an absurd dialogue with a human on the other side, a dialogue strangely similar to those produced by our latest Polish reality.
(Krystian Lupa, Nowy Teatr website)
From the review:
“The Trial was produced to protest against the authorities, which for over a year had been devastating the Polish Theatre in Wrocław, with which Krystian Lupa was working for many years. This is where the premiere was planned to be held a year ago, but eventually, it took place in Warsaw.” – Witold Mrozek, Gazeta Wyborcza no 267
“There is nowhere to go or to escape. All that’s left is waiting. Kafka’s doss-house turns into a hospital, or–more precisely–a homeless shelter straight from Gorky’s works (rightly associated with Gorky’s Night Asylum, directed in Wrocław by Krystian Lupa). This place becomes a home for Franz Kafka and his friends–and at the same time a home for Krystian Lupa, his friends and actors of the Polish Theatre in Wrocław. What an extremely sad situation: these are people for whom the stage is the only asylum–they are in a hospital where no one is cured, an orphanage in which no one takes care of them. They just sit and talk about nothing. The unbearable, empty time of acting improvisations allows us to painfully experience first hand this feeling of emptiness, aridity, and hopelessness.” – Tomasz Domagała
The Zygmunt Hübner Powszechny Theatre; Theatre 21
Super performance (Superspektakl)
Directed by Justyna Sobczyk and Jakub Skrzywanek
Dramaturgy: Justyna Lipko-Konieczna
Set design: Barbara Hanicka
Stage movement: Justyna Wielgus Premiere: November 11th, 11 2017
A certain country has been panic-stricken. People are afraid of leaving their houses. A growing wave of violence and aggression causes that everyone who has a different opinion is afraid to speak about important matters and fight for a better future. Others are isolated, removed from public space. Inclusive schools are being closed and on the windows of restaurants, where autistic people work, the inscriptions “GET OUT!” are being painted. The constant striving to unify everything causes that all differences are secretly eliminated. Fortunately, there it is–our last hope–Super Performance!
From the review:
“Super Performance, created together by the Theatre 21–gathering people with Down’s syndrome–and the Powszechny Theatre, is a commentary on Polish reality, simple, emotional and yet ironic, addressed primarily to the young audience. (…)
“One of the most touching images is a crying actor in a sweatshirt with the inscription “Rebel” and make-up of a rebel Guy Fawkes, which was referenced by the comic book V For Vendetta. As the authors have not received permission to use the image of comic superheroes, they create their own heroes, with original, harmless superpowers. They also set up a Super Party and invite the audience to create its program. The superhero, Mr. Moustache, chosen during a talent show, introduces dictatorship under the guise of care and concern. Belief in strong individuals and in their power leads to violence and disaster, convince the authors in the final scene.”
“True strength is a combination of weakness and empathy.: – Aneta Kyzioł, Polityka no 47
DIVINE COMEDY FESTIVAL, CRACOW December 9th -16th, 2017
The Festival Centre is housed at the Małopolska Garden of Arts in Cracow www.boskakomedia.pl
This year, in the INFERNO Competition, the audience had a chance to see sixteen performances, four performances in the competition for young artists– PARADISO and eleven performances in the PURGATORIO competition. The premiere of the performance Vernon Subutex opened the festival. Vernon Subutex is an adaptation of the novel by Virginie Despentes, presented by the team Wiktor Rubin and Jola Janiczak. Numerous performances were presented within the frames of the INFERNO section (i.e. the Polish program), among others The Wedding directed by Jan Klata at the Stary Theatre, Triumph Of The Will by Paweł Demirski, directed by Monika Strzępka, The Peasants directed by Krzysztof Garbaczewski and The Rage directed by Maja Kleczewska. The festival audience had also a chance to see The Trial directed by Krystian Lupa, soon after the Warsaw premiere.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.