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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » December 30, 2014
Theater
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Hungarian Take on Polish History
December 30, 2014   
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A play entitled The Impostor (Polish title Szalbierz), directed by Gabor Mate, the artistic director of the Jozsef Katona Theater in Budapest, opens Jan. 10 at the Dramatyczny Theater in Warsaw.

The play, written by Hungarian dramatist Gyorgy Spiro, centers around Polish actor and opera singer Wojciech Bogusławski, a prominent figure in the arts and the director of the Narodowy Theater in Warsaw 1783-1814. In the play, Bogusławski travels to Vilnius, now the capital of Lithuania but in the 19th century a Polish city under Russian rule, where he agrees to give guest performances at a provincial theater. The theater’s director pays a lot of money to sign up the celebrated actor, knowing the whole city will come to see Bogusławski in Moliere’s Tartuffe. The director invites the Russian governor to the premiere, hoping to gain a powerful patron and, consequently, subsidies from the state. His plan is to stage a version of Tartuffe that glorifies the Russian empire, but Bogusławski sees through the plan and decides to give the drama his own twist. As a result, the play becomes a manifestation of Polish patriotism. The audience is thrilled, while the outraged governor leaves the building.

Gabor Mate has worked with the Jozsef Katona Theater as both an actor and director since 1987. The most famous Hungarian theater company internationally, the Jozsef Katona Theater has launched the careers of many contemporary Hungarian playwrights.

The Impostor is regarded as a contemporary Hungarian classic.
Upcoming performances: Jan. 10 and 13, 7 p.m., Jan. 11, 5 p.m.
Dramatyczny Theater, Holoubek Stage
Palace of Culture and Science; 1 Defilad Sq
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