09 December 2013

The premiere of Divine Comedy and Łaźnia Nowa Theatre coproduction, Sorrows of the Tropics, directed by Paweł Świątek, took place yesterday. Those who managed to see the show, which was pretty packed, have to agree with the statement that Mateusz Pakuła’s text in a playful, ironic way deconstructs cultural stereotypes about exotic places and worlds. Great, energetic young actors who star in the performance: Małgorzata Gorol, Marek Hucz, Martyna Krzysztofik, Zuzanna Skolias, Łukasz Stawarczyk and Rafał Szumera, dressed up in unreal, absurd costumes designed by Julia Kornacka, impress the audience with the fast pace and technical skills with which they speak up the following lines. The stage characters take the viewers on a wild journey through the most iconic and common destinations like Thailand but at the same time, they mock trends that make us believe that “culturally distant means better”. Świątek and Pakuła reveal the colonial dominance of Europe, presenting myths around its economic and cultural superiority. They view USA and American life in the same way, treating them like ideological constructs that navigate common imaginary and the dynamics of our memory. The artists refer to the works by Claude Lévi-Strauss, but they also deploy popular culture iconography since the stage narration is made of Hollywood movie motifs, slapstick gags and more lyrical monologues that turn out to be nothing but another piece in this absurd game. Therefore, the travel they take us on, leads not only through real, physical spaces, but becomes an insane journey across metaphorical landscapes of modern civilization. Go and see it for yourselves!