•  Theatre 2014
 Poland
  The National Stary Theatre
TO DAMASCUS
Cast: Aldona Grochal, Katarzyna Krzanowska, Beata Paluch, Krzysztof Globisz, Adam Nawojczyk, Marcin Czarnik, Krzysztof Zarzecki, Jasmina Polak, Dorota Segda
Direction, music elaboration: Jan Klata
Adaptation, rewriting, dramaturgy: Sebastian Majewski
Scenography: Mirek Kaczmarek
Movements: Macko Prusak
”To Damascus” is interpreted as a play of dreams and a drama about conversion, while the journey indicated in the title occurs in the protagonist’s ”spiritual landscape”. Klata and Majewski have read To Damascus with the pop culture key and have rewritten it to the contemporary language and reality. In this story about the crisis and escape from banal life, the fine mesh of references is shaped by musical and film motifs. The stage is surrounded by a structure of skulls that form building walls – with windows, balconies, and bay windows. The world where the Stranger arrives, in the performance referred to as Idol, is a dead space where phantasies and delusions emerge. Caesar, a seemingly harmless patient of the Husband, can become a torturer any time. At some point, Idol and the Wife perform a reckless danse macabre, a quote from the famous Bonnie and Clyde movie. Fragments of popular songs (including Nirvana, Army of Lovers, or ”Space Oddity” by David Bowie performed by a children’s chorus from Canada) are a background for further changing situations. Klata and Majewski use pop culture here not as embellishment, but as a language. The only language, they seem to be saying, with which one can nowadays tell Strindberg’s drama, a morality play about an artist searching for his own path. Everything in this performance is exaggerated – thousands of skulls, style of costumes, and actors’ expression oscillating between hysteria (charismatic M.Czarnik and ensnaring woman-child J.Wasilewska) and rigorous form (outstanding D. Segda and K. Zarzecki). But this exaggeration is full of both bitterness and irony. Bitterness of unfulfillment, which cannot be ignored.
Performance not recommended to persons under 12.
Performance presented in Polish, with translation.

      © Magdalena Hueckel

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