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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » April 25, 2013
Theater
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The End of Communication
April 25, 2013   
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A new production of The Bald Soprano, a play written by Eugene Ionesco and directed by Maciej Prus, premiered at the Narodowy Theater in Warsaw April 13.

The Bald Soprano was Ionesco’s first theatrical play, written in 1949. It had its world premiere in 1950 at the Théâtre des Noctambules in Paris and has since been frequently staged. The premiere that year marked the beginning of what would be later known as the theater of the absurd and The Bald Soprano is widely considered one of the genre’s finest accomplishments.

Playwrights who work in the theater of the absurd style believe that language has ceased to perform its primary function and is no longer used to communicate. As a result, understanding is impossible and people lead their existence next to one another rather than together, just like the Martins and the Smiths, the main characters in The Bald Soprano. The two married couples are like anti-heroes living their lives devoid of personal identities and sense of purpose. They keep exchanging words, but the anti-dialogues lead nowhere, which essentially is what the theater of the absurd is about. The genre delves into the tragedy of human beings who are unable to make a connection with another, people who are misunderstood, alienated and lonely despite living among other people.

In the mid-20th century, The Bald Soprano was like a manifesto that both fascinated and outraged the public. It has since lost its shocking effect, but the humor is still there. Performed by outstanding actors, the play never ceases to give audiences a fresh insight into the nonsense hidden in human thoughts.

The new version at the Narodowy Theater features Polish actors Beata Fudalej, Anna Seniuk, Ewa Wi¶niewska, Grzegorz Kwiecień and Jacek Mikołajczak with Artur Żmijewski in a guest performance. The sets were designed by Borys Kudlicka.

Narodowy Theater, Przy Wierzbowej Stage
3 Wierzbowa St., entrance from Fredry Street
Upcoming performances May 17 at 7 p.m.
and May 18 and 19 at 4 p.m.
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