THE SUPPLICANTS. Director Paweł Miśkiewicz

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Сountries: Poland
City: Krakow
Place: National Stary Theatre
Address: ul. Jagiellońska 5
Date of premiere 9 april 2016

Elfriede Jelinek wrote The Supplicants in 2012. The play, a kind of social and political intervention, was inspired by true events—the occupation of a church in Vienna by the illegal immigrants who spent weeks there waiting for a final ruling on their fate. The playwright channels her rage and frustration here, not only for the fact that the group was deported from her country, but also for her own helplessness. Nobody had expected at that time that a wave of refugees was literally going to overflow Europe and a singular case in Vienna would transform into a continental conflict that would change the Old World forever. In his adaptation of the play, Paweł Miśkiewicz takes full advantage of its critical potential, not only to expose a condition, including the Polish condition, shaped by fear of the Other, but first and foremost taking a closer look at what is considered to be familiar and “ours”. Moreover, he adds another context here, a highly meta-theatrical one, by quoting some of the immigrant scenes from his iconic piece from over a decade ago, Innocence, written by Dea Loher. What emerges from this conglomeration of voices, discourses, theatre games and the palimpsest of hate speech is both a terrifyingly realistic vision of the collapse of civilization and a desperate cry for spiritual and cultural change in the modern social landscape.

The actors of the National Stary Theatre impress in Miśkiewicz’s piece with an astounding ability to coordinate and synchronize with one another and genuine virtuoso talent. As a result, the audience watches a singular theatrical organism that not only embodies the experience of refugees coming to Europe, but also serves as a habitat for the racial and cultural stereotypes and prejudices that rule both the stage world and our reality. Nevertheless, the artists try to find a way out of this civilizational and cultural predicament, at any cost. (from the theatre’s archive of reviews)

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Performance dates
28 February 18:00 THE SUPPLICANTS. Director Paweł Miśkiewicz
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