See one of the greatest hits of TR Warszawa!

  • Marszałkowska 8

No Matter How Hard We Tried

dir.Grzegorz Jarzyna Buy a ticket
  • Directed by

    Grzegorz Jarzyna

  • Text

    Dorota Masłowska

  • Premiered

    March 26, 2009 (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin)

  • Duration

    1 h 40 min (no intermission)

  • Tickets

    Normal ticket: 120 PLN
    Concessionary ticket: 85 PLN
    Normal group ticket (more than 10 people): 105 PLN
    Concessionary group ticket (over 10 people): 75 PLN


The performance is recommended for audiences aged 14 and over.


Performance dedicated to the memory of Danuta Szaflarska (1915-2017).

“No Matter How Hard We Tried” is one of the most successful performances produced by TR Warszawa, besieged by the audience, praised by the critics and awarded at numerous festivals. The performance is directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna – one of the most recognized Polish directors, and based on the play by Dorota Masłowska, a NIKE Literary Award nominee. It is a humorous and moving portrait of the divided Polish society, weighted down by the traumatic past and torn between national pride and sense of shame. Masłowska, with a crazy, inventive language and razor-sharp humor, paints the picture of today’s Poland, where the nouveau riche, pseudo-artists and media celebrities encounter the disillusioned youth and representatives of the working class on the verge of poverty. All of them try to stay afloat amidst the toxic mix of commercialism, catholic nationalism and idealized tragic past.

In the premiere version of the performance, the part of the Gloomy Old Biddy in a Wheelchair was played by a legendary actress – Danuta Szaflarska from TR Warszawa company, who passed away in 2017. She was one of the oldest, still active theatre actresses, She acted in “No Matter How Hard We Tied” at the age of 101. In the new version of the performance, Danuta Szaflarska was replaced by Lech Łotocki, a renowned actor, who has been cooperating with TR Warszawa since its establishment.

For organized school groups we offer introductory workshops to the performance (please contact the education department: for more details).

The performance is coproduced by TR Warszawa and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz.


text: Dorota Masłowska

direction: Grzegorz Jarzyna

set design: Magdalena Maciejewska

costume: Magdalena Musiał

lighting design: Jacqueline Sobiszewski


musical arrangement: Piotr Domiński, Grzegorz Jarzyna

video: Cókierek, Pani K.


photos: Natalia Kabanow


  • “Masłowska is extremely gifted at imitating authentic people and their beliefs and she perfectly renders in her play the kind of language spoken by different generations and social environments. In a tenement building in Warsaw, which nearly falls apart, we can see representatives of a cross section of the Polish society that is at the same time picturesque and morbid. The spectrum, exaggerated to no end, represents various layers of the collective decay in a way that makes laughter stay in the back of your throat.”

    Andreas Schäfer, Tagesspiegel
  • „Jarzyna has managed to capture the very soul of the play and extract its surrealistic core: he reflects not only the humorous aspect of the drama, but also makes it shine as a tragicomic, reality-deprived farce. Three screens, buzzing music, animated accessories and ironic acting let the production oscillate between joke and seriousness in a beautifully ambiguous way.”

    Dirk Pilz, Berliner Zeitung
  • „Coming from the actors’, Masłowska’s text can get the intended meaning. The stage deepens the outlook. This is the key value of Grzegorz Jarzyna’s preview performance. (…) Jarzyna has provided the play with a nearly perfect theatre form.”

    Jacek Wakar, Dziennik


  • The Konrad Swinarski Award

    For the best director of 2008/2009 season granted by the “Teatr” monthly magazine to Grzegorz Jarzyna.

  • Main award

    At the 9th Ogólnopolski Festiwal Dramaturgii Współczesnej “Rzeczywistość Przedstawiona” in Zabrze granted to Grzegorz Jarzyna.


FestCo Comedy Festival, Bucharest (27.05.2018)

„Raduga” International Festival, Sankt Petersburg (24.05.2013)

Sibiu International Festival, Teatru National “Radu Stanca”, Romania (25.05.2012)

46th Small Theatre Forms Festival “Kontrapunkt”, Szczecin (11.04.2011)

20th International Theatre Festival „ Divadelna Nitra” (23.09.2011)

16th Festival “Konfrontacje Teatralne”, Lublin (18-19.10.2011)

International Theatre Forum „TEART”, Minsk (25-26.10.2011)

Una Mirade del Mundo Festival, Madrid (4,5,6.11.2011)

Bozar, Brussels (3-4.12.2011)

„Golden Mask” Festival, Moscow (02.04.2010)

50th Kalisz Theatre Encounters (8.05.2010)

3rd Coast of Art Festival, Gdanam (28-29.06.2010)

Stage – Helsinki Theatre Festival (19-20.08.2010)

2nd Divine Comedy International Theatre Festival, Cracow (11-12.12.2009)

Prapremiery Festival, Bydgoszcz (5.10.2009)

5th International Theatre Festival „Dialog”, Wrocław (10.10.2009)

„Rzeczywistość przedstawiona” Festival, Zabrze (17.10.2009)

Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin (26-29.03.2009)


The performance is coproduced by TR Warszawa and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz.