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Plays

Pakuła, Mateusz

The main axis of Mateusz Pakuła's chamber play is the meeting of two extraordinary figures of the 20th century: Harry Houdini (illusionist, escape specialist, debunker of spiritualist mediums) and Arthur Conan Doyle (writer, spiritualist, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes). The men meet in New York in 1922. They are accompanied by their wives: Bess Houdini (professionally also Harry's stage assistant) and Jean Conan Doyle (considered a spiritualist medium by Arthur).

Pakuła, Mateusz

Pakuła's play Tristestropiques in 2014 received the Polish Gdynia Drama Award, Poland's most prestigious playwright's prize, awarded since 2008. The starting point and inspiration for the drama was Claude Lévi-Strauss's canonical (and now somewhat age-old) work Tristes Tropiques. The French anthropologist studied Native American culture in Brazil in the 1930s.

Pakuła, Mateusz

What would result from the meeting of two famous science-fiction writers – Stanisław Lem and Philip K. Dick? What if the Polish visionary-rationalist had joined forces with the mad energy of the American author? Among other things, these are the questions Mateusz Pakuła takes on in this play. Lem vs Dick is not however a straightforward attempt at finding the answers, it is more about exploring the limits of imagination (the famous authors and Pakuła’s own) on the one hand, and testing and pushing the line separating fiction from reality on the other.

Pakuła, Mateusz

Who remembers when Pluto was stripped of its planetary status in 2006? Who protested loudly against it then, joining the chorus of the ninth planet’s fans? In whom did the excitement resurface when, in 2015, the New Horizons probe delivered the first high-resolution images of Pluto to Earth, and it turned out to be exceptionally beautiful? Certainly in Mateusz Pakuła, who in Pluto p-brane presents the story of the discovery of Planet X.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

In Young Stalin, Słobodzianek invites the audience on a journey through pivotal events in the life of the future dictator, recreating in a distorting mirror the decadent yet politically charged atmosphere of 1907. It is by no means a biographical piece or a psychological study, but rather a kind of ritual. In  a grotesque rhythm, the play disenchants the figure of the tyrant, inflated by history, scholarly studies, accounts and fantasies.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

In Genius, the ailing Stanisławski seeks an audience with Stalin with the hope of saving the repressed Meyerhold. Employing subterfuge and flattery, Stanisławski convinces the dictator into making a deal: in exchange for teaching Stalin how to better play the role of a ruler, the latter will grant his three wishes. And so, the famous method of physical action is used in a completely non-artistic context. After all, in the words of its creator, “Ruling over a state can be an art. Also one of acting...”.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

The play, written in the form of a mystery play, presents the story of a group of peasants who, influenced by Ilya's biblical prophecy about the approaching end of the world, decide to 'help' God in his work of salvation (and save themselves in the process) by performing a second crucifixion. So they set out, assigning amongst themselves the characters they will play: Pontius Pilate, Judas, and so on. Naturally, they decide to cast the supposed prophet Ilya himself in the role of Christ.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

In this daring in form drama, Słobodzianek rewrites the myths of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and the quest for the Holy Grail. Through this reinterpretation, he reflects on the nature of evil, the relationship between religion and state, and the failures of utopian political projects.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

On the Argentinian prairie, Lord Jesus travels atop a donkey, accompanied by Saint Peter struggling to match their pace on foot. Along the way, “the mount” loses a horseshoe, so the travelers seek the assistance of an old blacksmith named Misery, accompanied by his dog Poverty. However, the duo has no money to pay for the blacksmith’s service, so Jesus offers to grant his three wishes. Against  Peter's advice ("Ask for Heaven, blacksmith!"), Misery uses them to obtain magical power over three objects: a saddle, a snuffbox, and a nearby tree.

Słobodzianek, Tadeusz

In Burning bush, Konrad (Swinarski) and Kazimierz (Dejmek) visit Jerzy (Grotowski) in his Wrocław apartment. Jerzy, after four years of exile (following the events of March 1968) to foreign stages, is offered the position of theatre director at the Polish Theater in Wroclaw by the authorities. The artists, liberal with cognac, proceed to plan the form and repertoire of the new national stage.