The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » Monthly - November 3, 2015
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In Search of European Identity
A new play staged by Warsaw’s Nowy Theater encourages audiences to ponder the origins of European identity.

Entitled Francuzi (Frenchmen), the play is inspired by Marcel Proust’s monumental novel Remembrance of Things Past. In the book, the French author portrayed a society amid fundamental change when old hierarchies had become irrelevant, blatant anti-Semitism flourished, and the first great European war had just begun. Krzysztof Warlikowski, who directs Francuzi, uses Proust’s magnum opus to engage the audience in a debate on present-day Europe.

“The idea behind the play was not to create a stage equivalent of the original novel, but to find a parallel world, a structure through which we could squeeze our times as if through Proust’s eye-of-a-needle critical vision—all this while retaining his distinctive and sharp look at things and clever sense of humor,” says Warlikowski.

Immersed in time that lacks a linear structure, we approach Proust’s radical vision in theater, which is the ideal place to do so, a place where social and spiritual energies mix.”

Francuzi had its world premiere Aug. 21 during the prestigious interdisciplinary Ruhrtriennale festival in Germany. The Polish opening took place Oct. 3 at the ATM Studio in Warsaw. The cast includes prominent Polish actors Agata Buzek, Magdalena Cielecka and Maciej Stuhr.


ATM Studio, 384 Wał Miedzeszyński St.
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