The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » Monthly - November 28, 2013
Theater
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Ionesco at Dramatyczny
   
Rhinoceros, Romanian-born playwright Eugene Ionesco’s most famous play, will be staged at Warsaw’s Dramatyczny Theater in Polish twice this month.

Directed by Artur Tyszkiewicz, the production is based on a translation by Piotr Kamiński, commissioned by the Dramatyczny Theater.

The avant-garde play seeks to answer what it means to be human. The protagonist, Bérenger, works for a large company. Dissatisfied with his job and frustrated by his daily routine, he wants to live “bigger and better.” His aspirations may be big, but his opportunities are next to none. One day, people in his city, including mothers and fathers, pensioners and managers, postmen, consultants and office workers, all begin to turn into rhinos. Bérenger refuses to give in and decides to remain himself.

Ionesco wrote the play in the early 1960s. According to Tyszkiewicz, Poland is only beginning to catch up with the West as it was in those days and that is what prompted him to tackle Rhinoceros.

“To me, this is predominantly a story about the totalitarianism of the masses, about the power of standardization, the voluntary renouncement of creative thinking in favor of collective thinking and putting one’s own individuality on ice,” says Tyszkiewicz, who is the artistic director of the Juliusz Osterwa Theater in the eastern city of Lublin.

“The mechanisms of the market seek to transform us into an unsatisfied mass of consumers and this raises the question of whether it is better not to think and just go with the flow or do the opposite.”

The play, which opened Nov. 15, features some of Poland’s finest theater actors, including Krzysztof Ogłoza, Anna Szymańczyk and Paweł Domagała as Bérenger.

M.R.

Upcoming performances:
Dec. 14, 8 p.m., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
Dramatyczny Theater, Holoubek Stage
Palace of Culture and Science, 1 Defilad Sq.
Tickets available at tel. 22 656-68-44
and kasa@teatrdramatyczny.pl