- Marszałkowska 8
A kitten peed on my banner. Chronicles from the Donbasdir.Aleksandra Popławska
Induction loop, ENG subtitles
Based on Lena Lagushonkova’s dramas: “Pipidówa”, “Gorky’s Mother” and “A kitten peed on my banner”.
Polish pre-premiere and premiere
28 April 2023 on stage TR Warszawa/ Marszałkowska 8
The starting price of a ticket on the first day of sale will be 40 PLN, depending on attendance, the price can reach a maximum of 150 PLN.
Discounted ticket: 45 PLN
Trigger warning: war, violence, vulgar language.
Smoke is used in the performance.
The play is based on three dramas by a young Ukrainian playwright, which depict the panorama of the lives of a community from a small town in Donbas in eastern Ukraine, where the author comes from. They picture the period from the decline of the Soviet Union, through Euromaidan, the war in Donbas in 2014 right until the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2022. Lena Laguszonkowa wrote the last part of the series in the spring of 2022 in a shelter in Kyiv during the bombings.
“A Kitty Peed On My Banner. Donbas Chronicles” is a family saga based on personal experiences, told from the perspective of women. Short dialogues and monologues are imbued with economical, direct language and sharp humor. Funny and frightening, grotesque and painfully true – Laguszonkowa’s dramas not only provide insight into the context of the current war with Russia but, above all, show the fates of people who try to stay alive and keep their dignity under the pressure of history.
A performative reading of the third part of the trilogy titled “A Kitty Peed On My Banner” directed by Aleksandra Popławska was the first step in the work on the production of the performance.
Zinaida Vorotintseva’s poem ‘Luganshchina’ was used in the performance.
From the Director:
“What is strength? Strength is strength. Strength is the most important thing. There are those who come and take. Like them. And there are those who are scared shitless. Like me. I go to the bathroom. I saw they do that in movies when the heroine feels really bad and wants to wash it all away. But there’s no water.” There is no bathroom. There is no home. There is no family.
PLUR – the creed of rave culture, an acronym for the words “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.” Come to our theatrical rave party, a dream about the need for all these values. A dream about Ukrainian folk healers, molfars, customs, and culture – about everything that the Leningrad cannibal wants to devour. Rave is not a time for mourning, it is a time for rebuilding what the orcs want to
destroy. Cultures and identities.
There once was a man, there once was a family in Stanytsia Luhanska.
A Russian mother who believes in UFOs, chupacabras, and the Bermuda Triangle, and a Ukrainian father, a veteran of the Vietnam War, who reads “The World of Crime.” A grandfather who is an anti-Semite but who is also hiding his Jewish roots and trying to cure himself himself with urine therapy, and grandmother Luba, a local folk healer who lost her twin sister Luda in the war. And Lena, who in 2000 is in the 9th grade and wants to escape from the hicksville, where she lives with her family.
“I hate this town.
The Lugansk locomotive factory.
Let this city be consumed by dragon fire.
Let its streets be infested with hedgehogs.
I won’t stay in this shithole.
I’ll be an artist. And all of you can just die here!
I’ll play in Spielberg’s movie! Michałkow’s at least.
I’ll go to Cannes. From the big screen I’ll show Lugansk: Fuck you!
You backwater village! Shithole! FUCK you!”
In the hood they call her a Jewess and a lesbian. She starts a hunger strike and demands ear surgery. She wants to apply to a university in Moscow but gets accepted to Lugansk. There, she participates in the Orange Revolution, and for a few hryvnia, she sides with Yanukovych because “Yanukovych is still one of us, he knows the needs of the region.” It is then that her banner gets peed on by a kitten
that will die on it later on. She becomes the new face of the opposition by accident – a bit like General Della Rovere (a character from an Italian-French movie about a collaborator who becomes the hero of the resistance movement in the Fascist Italy). In 2014, Russia attacks her family home, and in 2022 Lena returns to Stanytsia Luhanska to visit her ancestors’ graves and she finally understands what she has lost.
The project “A Kitty Peed On My Banner” is a new form of tłoka – mutual aid and communal assistance, where Polish and Ukrainian artists join forces. Once upon a time, people in Ukraine gathered for tłoka during harvest or deforestation – today, for rebuilding liberated villages. Tłoka used to begin with refreshments, often accompanied by music and dances and ended with a hearty meal and drinks. We invite you to our rave-like tłoka, to the red carpet rolled out in the rebuilt, free
Lugansk. “Because Lugansk is as beautiful as Cannes.”
Everyone will drink champagne and live happily ever after.
“A Kitty called Mruczka will pee on the carpet, and Cossacks – beautiful, with naked torsos, Dothraki-like, will be on TV”.
Lena Laguszonkowa – a Ukrainian playwright from the town of Stanytsia Luhanska in Donbas. She graduated from the history department of the Taras Shevchenko Luhansk State University and in 2018 she debuted as a playwright. Her play “Base” about women and prostitution was presented during the “Contemporary Art Week” festival in Kiev. In 2021, the artist participated in the Aurora drama competition organized by the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz. “Gorky’s Mother” – the second part of “The Trilogy of Donbas” made it to the final stage of the competition. In 2022 Lena Laguszonkowa won the prestigious European Drama Award 2022 for New Talent in Playwriting, awarded by Schauspiel Stuttgart in Germany. Currently, the author resides in Bydgoszcz.
photo: Wojciech Sobolewski
direction: Aleksandra Poplawska
written by: Lena Lagushonkova
translation: Agnieszka Lubomira Piotrowska (“Pipidówa”)
Agnieszka Sowinska (‘Gorky’s Mother’, ‘My banner has been peed on by a kitten’)
scenography: Tomasz Mreńca
lighting design: Karolina Gębska
music: Tomasz Mreńca, Daniel Spaleniak
musical consultation: Mariana Sadovska
costumes: Alona Zozulia
video projections: Maria Matylda Wojciechowska
choreography: Łukasz Wójcicki
co-creators of the scenography: Volodymyr Melymuka, Michał Orzechowski (paintings and drawings), Volodymyr Ivanyk (sculpture)
assistant director: Piotr Piotrowicz
stage manager: Katarzyna Gawryś
production manager: Aleksandra Szklarczyk
set designer assistant: Monika Zielińska
Funded by the Stabilisation Fund – an Initiative supporting cultural and educational organisations in Ukraine, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia affected by the war in Ukraine.