21 October 2014

We're pleased to announce the first show presented in the When they come to burn down your home down strand. During The Divine Comedy festival we will see Balladyna by Radek Rychcik produced by Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre in Rzeszów. 

In his take on a classical text by Juliusz Słowacki, Radek Rychcik puts an emphasis on the ideological, cultural and social meaning of its key motif – a sister killing a sister. The director sees a harbinger of women’s emancipation in the titular protagonist and symbolically reads her name as a manifestation of broad cultural changes. The narrative gets shifted to the time of the World War I, not without a good cause as this was a tipping point in terms of establishing male and female subjectivity. Over the course of years of fighting on the front lines, where tanks and poison gas were used for the first time, millions of men were killed leaving their wives and kids to face reality on their own. This historical context allows not only to extract a feminist content from the original text, but also to show an ongoing internal war, in which a sister kills a sister, a daughter drives away a mother and a wife murders a husband. As such, Balladyna as directed by Rychcik becomes a battle over territory and voice for those who for centuries have been oppressed and silenced by fathers, brothers and partners who at every step enforced the brutal norms of a patriarchal world.