Date: 2012-07-03
Hour: 19:00
Normal price: 35 PLN
Reduced price: 25 PLN
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Duration: 2 h 45
Venue: The Old Slaughterhouse, Engine Room


Dziady (English title: Forefathers’ Eve), a poetical drama by Adam Mickiewicz is one of the major works of Polish Romantic literature and, concurrently, one of the greatest challenges for directors and actors. The series comprises three loosely connected parts presented in the following order: II, IV and III, in addition to the unfinished part I. The binding element is the dziady ceremony, a somewhat heretical Christian ritual stemming from pagan times, deeply enrooted in folk culture and customs. Dziady, like the remaining works of Adam Mickiewicz, has made a permanent impression on Polish culture, including the collective subconscious, literature and art. Konrad from Dziady Part III has become the archetype of a tragic protagonist whilst the references to fighting against the Russian annexation of Poland caused the text to become not only an obligatory item in literature studies but also in patriotic education. The banning of Dziady after the staging of the drama in Teatr Narodowy in Warsaw in 1968 contributed to the student demonstrations which are now referred to as March 1968.

In his interpretation of Dziady Lech Raczak has made several abridgments which made it possible to merge all the parts and translate them into modern language. Spectres from the netherworld are replaced with living characters, Polish historical freedom fighters. Weighed down by remorse they face the beneficiaries of their toils, the modern-day youth. This is what Leszek Pułka wrote about the show in Dziennik: “Raczak has structured Mickiewicz’s work into a constellation of extraordinary characters: people immersed in existence, but also demons possessed with selfishness and political beasts – grotesque characters who are terrifying, furious and corrupted, at times helpless as whelps, albeit  always intriguing. Furthermore, he has moved the audience away from the banality of the national obligatory reading list. Together with Maciej Rembarz Raczak has rearranged the lengthy rites and romantic declamations to create an extremely specific session that keeps viewers in suspense; a psychological trance in which a painful life is contrasted with the cynicism of political circles.” Good is confronted with evil, idealism with conformism and humanity with bestiality. Dziady in its new revived interpretation, appeals to the contemporary viewer’s imagination posing questions about the present and sowing a seed of anxiety.

Adaptation: Maciej Rembarz and Lech Raczak
Director: Lech Raczak
Set designer: Bohdan Cieślak
Costume designer: Izabela Rybacka
Musical score: Lech Jankowski
Choreographer: Tomasz Wygoda

Cast: Katarzyna Dworak (Owl, Countess, Archangel), Gabriela Fabian (Young Woman, Kmitowa), Ewa Galusińska (Devil I, Butler I, Master of Ceremony I), Joanna Gonschorek (Sorcerer, Pelikanowa), Zuza Motorniuk (Little Angel I, Child I, Girl I), Anita Poddębniak (Woman, Lady, Guardian Angel), Magda Skiba (Little Angel II, Child II, Girl II), Małgorzata Urbańska (Mrs Rollison), Rafał Cieluch (Sorcerer’s Assistant, Father Peter), Mateusz Krzyk (Death-watch, Writer, Bajkow), Bogdan Grzeszczak (Priest, Pelikan), Jakub Kotyński (Gustaw, Jan, Konrad), Bartosz Bulanda (Crow, Gustaw, Tomasz, Konrad), Paweł Palcat (Devil II, Butler II, Master of Ceremony II), Robert Gulaczyk (Nurse, Żegota), Tadeusz Ratuszniak (Spectre, Doctor), Łukasz Węgrzynowski (Gustaw, Konrad), Paweł Wolak (Eagle Owl, Senator), Lech Wołczyk (Stary Gustaw, Stary Konrad), Robert Zawadzki (Gustaw, Feliks, Konrad, Adolf), Mariusz Sikorski (Guard).

Première: 28 April 2007