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The Peasants

14 December 2017
  ICE Kraków — Sala Teatralna

Directed by:

Krzysztof Garbaczewski


Władysław Reymont


210 min.



Directed by Krzysztof Garbaczewski and performed by an ensemble from the Powszechny Theatre, this theatrical adaptation of the novel by Władysław Reymont—which won him the Nobel Prize—brings to the surface the extraordinary subtext of social emancipation in the book, which is rarely discussed in schools. The tribulations of the titular peasants, who live in a fictional village called Lipce at the end of the nineteenth century, are presented over the course of four different seasons and become a device to explore the cultural behaviors of a closed community as well as to explore themes of ecology and feminism. The director ruthlessly criticizes a patriarchal system that imprisons more than just the men in this staged world. Instead of ethnographic research, the audience is presented with a fully modern version of the well-known storyline, in which the actors play both the iconic characters and animals exploited by humans that typically go unnoticed; there’s even a space drifter in the form of a pig. But there’s a method to this post-humanist madness: the creators are in full control of the depicted universe, offering the audience a spot-on vivisection of racism and intolerance as well as first-rate, unpretentious entertainment.

“The Peasants” has no intention to moralize—in fact quite the opposite: the play is filled with humor, irony and grotesque or absurd events that slowly reveal their darker side and a potential to offer social critique. Garbaczewski uses a variety of conventions, such as anime, folk songs and multimedia installations. He has wonderful support from the fearless, talented cast from Warsaw’s Powszechny Theatre, who boldly and energetically expose the numerous paradoxes of a stage machine, which, once in motion, seems utterly unstoppable. 


Directed and adapted by Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Set design by Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Jan Strumiłło
Costumes by Sławomir Blaszewski
Video by Robert Mleczko
Music by Jan Duszyński
Lighting design by Bartosz Nalazek
Text editing by Karolina Kapralska
Assistant Director: Radosław Mirski
Stage Manager: Barbara Sadowska


Karolina Adamczyk, Klara Bielawka, Anna Ilczuk, Magdalena Koleśnik, Ewa Skibińska, Barbara Wysocka, Julia Wyszyńska, Grzegorz Artman, Arkadiusz Brykalski, Michał Czachor, Grzegorz Falkowski, Michał Jarmicki, Andrzej Kłak, Mateusz Łasowski, Paweł Smagała, Julian Świeżewski, Kazimierz Wysota