Our Father

Autor: 
Pałyga, Artur
Tytuł oryginalny: 
Ojcze nasz
Gatunek: 
Dramat
Obsada kobiety: 
4
Obsada mężczyźni: 
9
Szczegóły obsady: 
+ episodic roles
Prapremiera polska: 
2009, Centralny Lublin Theater, dir. Łukasz Witt-Michałowski

Artur Pałyga's play, maintained in a quasi Różewicz's style, with motives from Franz Kafka's Letter to Father, is an anti-apotheosis of paternity as an authority of violence.

The father is a tyrant, the head of the family and the lord of the house, a dictator who arouses fear and respect. The father is a helpless man who does not know how to play and fulfil this role in life. As he confesses to his son in a pre-mortem conversation, only during the journey could he be nicer, because he took off the burden of responsibility. The role of the patriarch of the family did not allow him to show his feelings and be a nice "understanding daddy". In the Father's understanding this would be his end, the denial of being a strong man. Showing affection would be like admitting one's weakness, becoming an object of mockery on the part of his military colleagues and his extended family. Military discipline was effective in covering up helplessness and fear.

Fathers' time has passed, now we have only mummy's partners and sweet dads. Such a reflection on paternity is the starting point for Artur Pałyga's play. The old fathers have passed away, they are gone with the arrival of new times, but the memory of them is not gone. Our Father speaks about such old, unfashionable fathers. It begins and ends with the memory of the funeral. The content of the play is filled with single scenes/pictures in which the play's protagonists, remembered through the eyes of Franio, appear. Not only does it show the figure of the Father, the severe lord of the house, who arouses fear in everyone, but also the image of the family and its relations, where the Father was a kind of axis.

Scene by scene, we follow the fascination, pride, longing for the eternally absent, for whom we waited for hours. When at the end of his life the Father asks his son why he was afraid of him, Franio cannot answer.

The play gives an impulse to reflect on the contemporary role of the father and the patriarchal model of the family: do we miss our former fathers or do we want a different model? Does the word "father" still have its place in our language?