Order Newsletter


The Call of Cthulhu

15 December 2017
  Malopolska Garden of Art (MOS)

Directed by:

Michał Borczuch


Tomasz Śpiewak


Nowy Teatr


130 min.



Michał Borczuch’s play is inspired by the dark and dystopian writings of H. P. Lovecraft, or to be specific his stories of the mythical Cthulhu of his own invention—ancient gods whose civilization is much older than the human one. In the stage world, the sinister creatures come back and wreak havoc upon the characters, channeling their deepest fears and desires. The director, together with dramaturge Tomasz Śpiewak, combines terrifying images taken straight from Lovecraft’s stories with material generated by workshopping the piece with the actors. Intimate monologues are filled with clear allusions to the current political situation, both in Poland and around the world. One of the scenes, a conversation between a daughter (Dominika Biernat) and her gay father (Jacek Poniedziałek) about anal sex, is shocking not only for its cultural boldness, but also for Borczuch’s unique ability to discuss difficult, complicated, emotional, physical and cultural matters without moralizing or simplistic rhetoric. “The Call of Cthulhu” scares the audience not with the horror of Lovecraft’s stories about mythical gods, but with powerful and evocative observations about our everyday reality.

Borczuch plays with the conventions of the horror genre, using strongly codified metaphors, but then gradually reveals a disturbingly real dimension, making reference to specific current events and phenomena from everyday life that are far more terrifying than the stories of Cthulhu. The Nowy Teatr actors impress with their aesthetic and psychological sensibility, walking a thin line between their own stories and world views and the characters they play in the context of Lovecraft’s world. A camera—a key component of the depicted world—tracks their faces and shows them in close-up as they witness specific situations, complicating the sense of what’s real and what’s imagined.


Directed by Michał Borczuch
Text/dramaturgy by Tomasz Śpiewak (script partially inspired by actors’ improvisations)
Scenography/Costumes by Dorota Nawrot
Music by Bartosz Dziadosz Pleq
Lighting design by Jacqueline Sobiszewski
Assistant Director: Sylwia Merk


Dominika Biernat, Bartosz Gelner, Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Monika Niemczyk, Marta Ojrzyńska, Piotr Polak, Jacek Poniedziałek, Krzysztof Zarzecki