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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » December 1, 2014
Theater
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The Naked Empress
December 1, 2014   
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Award-winning play Caryca (The Empress) is being staged Dec. 2 and 3 at the Imka Theater in Warsaw.

Written by Jolanta Janiczak and directed by Wiktor Rubin, Caryca was hailed as one of the best new plays of the past theater season. The story centers on Russian Empress Catherine the Great and her affair with the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski. This highly involving and thought-provoking play makes viewers stop to wonder what “historical truth” really is and consider the role that gender and sexuality play in the lives of rulers. At the same time, the play explores the boundaries between theater and real life.

Catherine the Great was born in Szczecin, a city in what was then Prussia and now part of Poland, as a princess named Sophia Anhalt-Zerbst. She became Empress of All the Russias at the tender age of 15 and was known for her fondness of men. But rather than try to give an account of historical events, the play focuses on human instincts, ambition, frustrations and on what happens when people lack ideals.

Marta ¦cisłowicz delivers a bold performance as Catherine the Great, making clever use of nudity and putting her energetic personality to good use. The role won her awards at the 54th Theater Meetings in Kalisz, the 20th International Festival of Pleasant and Unpleasant Arts in ŁódĽ, and the sixth International Divine Comedy Theater Festival in Cracow. The Cracow festival also saw Tomasz Nosiński winning an award for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of the Polish king. Caryca has also nabbed the main prizes at a number of other theater festivals in Poland.

In Warsaw, the play will be staged as part of a theater festival called “PKO Bank Polski. Poland at Imka.”

M.R.
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