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An Enemy of the People

15 December 2016
  National Stary Theatre — Big Stage

Directed by:

Jan Klata


Henryk Ibsen, Michał Buszewicz


130 min.


40/65 PLN

Written by Henrik Ibsen in the early 1880s, this is a late-career play by the canonical author and certainly not his most popular one. This adaptation though, directed by Jan Klata, brings an urgent topicality to the problems discussed in the text, and also proves that it is by far the most under-appreciated of Ibsen’s writings. On the one hand, it flawlessly deconstructs the mechanisms that regulate the existence of small, closed communities. On the other, it reveals a series of political tensions and entanglements, offering a deep and thorough analysis of power, which almost every single character here strives for. The action takes place in a small Norwegian town, where the protagonist, doctor Thomas Stockmann (Juliusz Chrząstowski) discovers a flaw in the local water supply that causes the water to be poisoned. This revelation goes against the interests of the town authorities, and the tension is aggravated by the close kinship between the mayor and the doctor. In this complicated situation each side will do whatever it takes to prove themselves right and gain the trust of the people.

Klata breaks with the play’s naturalism with a partly improvised monologue delivered by Chrząstowski, playing Stockmann, which suddenly changes into a dialogue with the audience about explosive contemporary local and global struggles, including the smog in Krakow and the refugee crisis. The set design and costumes by Justyna Łagowska and choreography by Maćko Prussak introduce elements of pastiche and the absurd into the stage world. And the actors of the National Stary Theatre convincingly head into battle in the name of ideas, opinions and above all power and knowledge—understood here in the true Foucaultian sense.


Directed by Jan Klata

Scenography, costumes and lighting design by Justyna Łagowska

Text edition and dramaturgy by Michał Buszewicz

Music by Robert Piernikowski

Assistent Set Designers: Anna Durczok, Dominika Król

Stage Manager/Assistant Director/Prompter: Katarzyna Gaweł



BILLING – Bogdan Brzyski

MAYOR PETER STOCKMANN – Radosław Krzyżowski

DOCTOR TOMAS STOCKMANN – Juliusz Chrząstowski

PRINTER ASLAKEN – Zbigniew Kosowski

CAPTAIN HORSTER – Paweł Kruszelnicki/Bolesław Brzozowski

MRS. STOCKMANN – Małgorzata Zawadzka

PETRA – Monika Frajczyk

EDITOR HOVSTAD -  Michał Majnicz

- Ania Komorek

- Maciek Trybus