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The Histrionic

DATE   TIME   PLACE
15 December 2016
16 December 2016
16 December 2016
  17:00
16:00
21:00
  Laznia Nowa Theatre — Small Stage
Picture
(11)

Directed by:

Agnieszka Olsten

Author

Thomas Bernhard

DURATION

110 min.

Tickets

40/65 PLN

Staging Thomas Bernhard’s play at the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź, Agnieszka Olsten employs a variety of methods to anchor the action in the context of this post-industrial city. She also makes a bold dramaturgical move, casting Agnieszka Kwietniewska in the role of the titular, histrionic, “greatest living actor”, as he calls himself—a tremendous egomaniac and megalomaniac named Bruscon. This simple strategy gives new meaning to the drama by the Austrian playwright: it becomes not only a bitter and cynical comment on the false political correctness that rules the world, but also a harsh criticism of the sexism deeply embedded in the original text and its central figure. Multiple performative actions break the theatrical illusion and push past the audience’s comfort zone; the viewers thereby experience the hypocrisy of the plays the proud Bruscon stars in and the artificiality of the lines he so often speaks.

Kwietniewska deploys a wide repertoire of acting conventions, some of them resembling a cabaret show, others a circus clown performance or a politically engaged slapstick piece. Olsten mocks patriarchal cultural norms, seeming to follow the fabric of Bernhard’s text closely, but in fact suggesting her own point of view, which often contradicts its values. The director affects the light tone of a buffo show, skilfully interwoven with more serious and never banal reflections on art, theatre and its nature, and the passing of time.

Team

Directed by Agnieszka Olsten

Translation: Jacek St. Buras

Scenography and costumes by Joanna Kaczyńska

Music by Kuba Suchar

Lighting design by Robert Mleczko

 

Cast

Bruscon, the histrionic – Agnieszka Kwietniewska (guest star)

Mrs. Bruscon, the histrionic’s wife – Urszula Gryczewska

Ferruccio, their son – Marcin Korcz

Sara, their daughter– Agnieszka Więdłocha

The Tavern’s Owner – Seb Majewski

Wife of the tavern’s owner – Dorota Kiełkowicz

Erna, their daughter – Linda Rojewska (guest star)

 

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