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The Secret Life of the Friedmans

10 December 2017
  Teatr Ludowy Stolarnia

Directed by:

Marcin Wierzchowski


Marcin Wierzchowski, Daniel Sołtysiński


Teatr Ludowy


165 min.

Marcin Wierzchowski’s play, produced by the Ludowy Theatre, is inspired by Andrew Jarecki’s documentary “Capturing the Friedmans”. An award-winner at Sundance, the biggest independent film festival in the world, the Oscar-nominated movie tells the story of a well-to-do Jewish family whose life is turned upside down when the father and youngest son are accused of pedophilia. The spirit of ancient Greek tragedy is interwoven with a harsh critique of the American way of life and its empty promises, which resonate powerfully in a Polish cultural context. The audience is placed at the center of events that aren’t so much based on the Friedmans’ actual story but more on its symbolic dimension, linked to matters of crime and punishment. They have a unique opportunity to participate in this theatrical vivisection of the infamous case. Instead of offering a simple diagnosis or straightforward answers to questions about good and evil in human nature, the play questions the character of the central crime, revealing that it is not only determined by the actions taken, but also, if not more so, by the way we narrate them.

The director allows the audience to move around the theater, significantly reducing the distance between them and the actors, as he explores the mechanisms of a modern-day witch-hunt. The search for a new theatrical model is paired with bold social and cultural observations about the perpetual need to find a scapegoat. Wierzchowski suggests that nothing is black and white and the devil is in the proverbial details.


Directed by Marcin Wierzchowski
Scenography by Barbara Ferlak
Costumes by Ewa Mroczkowska
Music by Urszula Chrzanowska
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Martyna Rezner


Piotr Pilitowski, Małgorzata Kochan, Patryk Palusiński (guest star), Jakub Klimaszewski (guest star), Piotr Franasowicz, Jan Nosal, Jagoda Pietruszkówna, Maja Pankiewicz, Kajetan Wolniewicz, Ryszard Starosta