"Winter journey"

10 December 2013

The first presentation of one of the Polish Contest, INFERNO performances, that is Maja Kleczewska’s A Winter’s Journey, took place yesterday. The show is a coproduction of Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz and Powszechny Theatre in Łódź and is based on a play by a controversial Austrian Noble Prize-winner, Elfriede Jelinek. The festival audience was absolutely amazed and bewitched with the intense acting influenced by the aesthetics of the post-dramatic theatre but also performance art with its emphasis on the material and bodily presence of the stage personas. Kleczewska, together with the dramaturg, Łukasz Chotkowski, start an avalanche of contexts, words and dense, symbolic stage images that not only reflect the original text, but also broaden its meanings, painfully making us aware of the modern social mechanisms. The artists in a fierce, passionate, unsentimental way present media hypocrisy, inability to talk to the others and social indifference. The stage is filled with unusual, symbolic creatures: huge teddy bears, a jock showing off his muscles, abandoned brides, women imprisoned in the Austrian basements and last but not least, Jelinek herself, who appears in the finale and predicts a collapse of the world built on the hypocrisy and oppressive cultural rules. Impressive set design by Wojciech Puś, that in the first part of the shows serves as a mysterious chamber with tulle curtains, once they fall down, turns out to be  a kind of a funny house, with its mirrors reflecting our most hidden fears and desires. Those who missed yesterday’s performance have the last chance to see it tonight at 8 PM at Łaźnia Nowa Theatre!