15 stycznia 2015
Standing room only.
Yana Ross’s show is based on a text by a German playwright, Franz Xavier Kroetz. Unlike classically constructed dramas, this play is comprised only of side text that serves as a score and a commentary on the stage action. The protagonist of “Request Concert” is a woman in her 50s, who works as a stenographer. The furnishings and decor of her apartment can be classified as typical modern middle-class. Surrounded by colorful advertisements and packages, overly-organized and pedantic, she cannot overcome her loneliness. The society that she lives in also doesn’t help, condemning her to exclusion and isolation.
Kroetz creates a world where the individual feels very much alone, lost in the manic tempo of the big-city. The playwright closely observes the behavior patterns and morality of the bourgeoisie, as it faces cultural and social transformations that force it to re-establish its identity. The lead (and only) role in “Request Concert” is played by Danuta Stenka.
For organized post-gymnasium school groups we offer introductory workshops to the performance (please contact the education department: email@example.com for more details).
The performance is coproduced by TR Warszawa, Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Cracow and Divine Comedy Festival.
From the director
“Karl Marx defines revolution as a time when the masses are fed up with oppression and the elites are no longer able to control them. But what if the financial elite has adapted with times and worked out a way to keep the masses more or less occupied with consumerism, keeping them busy with small daily rewards and pleasures, satisfying enough to forget the pain of a senseless cycle of life? Kroetz’s provoking thesis questions the act of suicide as a manifestation of free will and a sign of revolt, which ironically turns in on itself and becomes an instant failure (by self-cleansing the society of the rebel him/herself).”
direction: Yana Ross
dramaturgy: Aśka Grochulska
translation: Danuta Żmij-Zielińska
music: Aśka Grochulska / Tomasz Wyszomirski
set design and multimedia: Simona Biekšaitė
lighting design: Mats Öhlin
host of the radio program: Wojciech Mann
curator: Marcin Zawada
fot. K. Schubert
“The entire play is one woman’s lonely night with a dramatic climax. Stenka’s minimalistic acting, though wordless, is nevertheless quite powerful. (…) Through invisible walls we bear witness to reminiscences, loneliness, depression and neurosis. Sounds banal? In Stenka’s execution it is actually moving at times. The actress employs sort of a sharp, focused expression that is so characteristic of her.”
Xavier Kroetz’s “Requests Concert”, coproduced by the Łaźnia Nowa theatre from Nowa Huta and the TR Warszawa theatre, starring the extraordinary Danuta Stenka, is a suspenseful vision of the boredom of life not unlike watching a Hitchcock thriller. Not one word is spoken during the play, but we exit feeling that everything that needed to be said was…Danuta Stenka is at arm’s length, we can almost feel her breath as she acts out her silent cantata with a total concentration. Perhaps this is why the audience feels, they are not just witnesses, but participants to the woman’s silent tragedy. It always looks the same. From the loud beginnings of life to the muffled, noiseless end.”
“The “Requests Concert” appears to be something unique in Polish theatre. The play’s theme and aesthetics set it apart from our mainstream theatre. Yana Ross offers us something akin to a railroad switch. One must move in the direction of hybrid forms bordering on performance and minimalism, away from blabbering on stage and actus iaculatoriae from the actors – if only for a moment.”
“The idea to tinker with time was an amazingly good one. Unification of the fictional time with real time is one of the many factors giving audience an impression that they have become actors in Yane Ross’s play. It makes them feel as if they are right in the middle of the action, at the side of the heroine struggling through her difficult life. (…) In this game, the heroine’s life is ideal, her fate appears to be sealed, cursed and immutable. Having grown accustomed to her everyday life, she does the same things over and over every day for the hundredth time. She goes to work, she comes home, she eats, she rests, she bathes, she sleeps. And on it goes. She starts each day with the belief that things will be different. And yet there is no cure for solitude, there is only hope. It is hope that our heroine losses and this condemns her to failure.”
Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Cracow and Divine Comedy Festival