Performance by CHOREA Theatre from Łódź and the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy from Warsaw
Based on texts: 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare, 'Hamlets Case Study' by Jerzy Grotowski and 'Hamlets Case Study' by Stanisław Wyspiański
Direction: Waldemar Raźniak, Tomasz Rodowicz
Music: Tomasz Krzyżanowski
Choreography: Janusz Adam Biedrzycki
Stage design: Tomasz Rodowicz
Light: Tomasz Krukowski
Sound: Marcin Dobijański
Cast: Martyna Byczkowska (Theatre Academy), Joanna Chmielecka (CHOREA Theatre), Anna Lemieszek (Theatre Academy), Elina Toneva (CHOREA Theatre), Janusz Adam Biedrzycki (CHOREA Theatre), Mateusz Burdach (Theatre Academy), Piotr Janusz (Theatre Academy), Michał Jóźwik, Aleksander Kaźmierczak (Theatre Academy), Jakub Kordas (Theatre Academy), Vova Makovskyi (Theatre Academy)
Premiere: 1-2.04.2017, in Art_Inkubator in Fabryka Sztuki in Lodz, in terms of 'Dotknij Teatru' Festival
The Theatre Academy of Warsaw and the Łódź-based CHOREA Theatre jointly run a theatre project entitled “Hamlets Case Study”, aimed at shaping the contemporary approach to Shakespeare through Wyspiański’s and Grotowski’s texts.
2nd and 3rd year students of the Theatre Academy’s acting department come together with actors of CHOREA Theatre, under direction of Waldemar Raźniak and Tomasz Rodowicz in an attempt at tackling’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet. They approach it using a variety of texts: an archival collection of writings by Jerzy Grotowski from 1964, entitled „Hamlet Case Study”, reviews and records of actors from the Theatre of 13 Rows, and Stanisław Wyspiański’s „Hamlet Case Study”.
'We wanted to put ourselves in the same place that Grotowski’s group of actors found themselves in over 40 years ago. In the place of an unknown, at a crossroads and facing the imminence of a catastrophe as we are to tackle a great text' (T. Rodowicz)
Preview showings of Raźniak and Rodowicz’s performance were preceeded by a series of rehearsals and physical training evocative of Grotowski’s method, as well as work on Shakespeare’s text and team work on building the dramaturgy of the performance. Actors searched for those fragments in Shakespeare’s play that they found closest to their own experience. The performance goes beyond the narrative of Shakespeare’s drama as it is enriched with the actors’ personal statements about their life choices and their own identity.
The performance is an attempt at answering the question of who is Hamlet in today’s world? What made Grotowski follow Wyspiański in his choice of situating Hamlet in a Polish village, in a cemetery? And, most importantly: can one read Shakespeare today with Grotowski?
'The project alludes to the theatre avant-garde of the 60s, of which Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratorium theatre was a representatntive. This coincides with the year 2017 being proclaimed the official centenary anniversary of the Polish avant-garde. Yet, we don’t create any reconstrutions of Grotowski’s work. Inspired by the courage and the catastrophe of that attempt from 50 years ago, we search for our own narrative and our own risks. An overcoming of the typical means of theatre production is clear in our approach to all of the texts – Shakespeare, Wyspiański and Grotowski. No one has made such an attempt to date.' (T.Rodowicz)
Preview showings will take place on April 1st and 2nd 2017 as part of the action which is part of the „Dotknij Teatru” [Touch The Theatre] initiative within the International Theatre Day celebrations in Łódź.