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The French

7 December 2015
8 December 2015
  TVP Kraków Studio S3 Łęg

Directed by:

Krzysztof Warlikowski


Proust / Warlikowski


Nowy Teatr


280 min.



Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new play, for which a pre-premiere was held at this year’s edition of Ruthriennale, is based on Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. The monumental, seven-volume book, which describes the end of an era by portraying the cultural and social turmoil, the fall of the aristocratic social order, the explosion of anti-Semitism and, above all, World War I, becomes a starting point for the theatrical musings and explorations of the artists involved with the Nowy Theatre in Warsaw. The French is not a faithful adaptation, but rather a reflection on how modern Europe has been shaped by ancient traditions and political conditions. This cutting elegy and indictment of European civilization has an unbearable lightness and sense of irony to it, and the director masterfully stages specific scenes from the original book, which is regarded as very untheatrical. Trying to re-create the experience of a non-linear and non-logical structure and concept of time characteristic of Proust’s piece, Warlikowski creates a moving treatise on loneliness, the passing of time and the transience of great ideas. At the same time, he never loses his distance from the events presented on stage.


There’s none of the lavish set design typical of Warlikowski’s previous plays in The French. Instead, the director creates intimate scenes and moments in which seemingly not much happens. The actors play with the fabric of the text, and the game finds it culmination in the final scene, when they face the audience as characters who are made to look old – on the one hand thematizing the passing of time, which is a key subject for Proust, and on the other emphasizing its theatrical conventionality. A similar strategy, based on the tension between these two layers, is crucial for the structure of the whole piece.



Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski

Dramaturgy by Piotr Gruszczyński

Collaboration on dramaturgy: Adam Radecki

Scenography by Małgorzata Szczęśniak

Costumes by Małgorzata Szczęśniak

Music by Jan Duszyński; Piece for Cello and Tape by Paweł Mykietyn

Lighting design by Felice Ross

Choreography Claude Bardouil

Video by Denis Guéguin

Animations by Kamil Polak

Make up: Monika Kaleta, Joanna Chudyk

Stage Manager: Łukasz Jóźków

Wiolonczela: Michał Pepol / Marcin Zdunik

Performance: Claude Bardouil / Łukasz Przytarski

Production manager Joanna Nuckowska

Technical director: Paweł Kamionka

Assistant director: Katarzyna Łuszczyk

Sound: Mirosław Burkot

Lights: Dariusz Adamski

Video projections: Maciej Żurczak

Props: Tomasz Laskowski

Wardrobe: Elżbieta Fornalska, Ewa Sokołowska

Stage: Kacper Maszkiewicz

Translation into English: Artur Zapałowski

Subtitles: Zofia Szymanowska


Mariusz Bonaszewski

Agata Buzek

Magdalena Cielecka

Ewa Dałkowska

Bartosz Gelner

Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik

Wojciech Kalarus

Marek Kalita

Zygmunt Malanowicz

Maria Łozińska

Maja Ostaszewska

Piotr Polak

Jacek Poniedziałek

Maciej Stuhr