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Polish theatre stages 14-hour Mickiewicz marathon

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.02.2016 12:32
A theatre company in Wrocław, south-western Poland, has realised one of the most extraordinary productions in Polish theatre in decades.
'Forefathers Eve' is performed at Teatr Polski. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński'Forefathers Eve' is performed at Teatr Polski. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński

'Forefathers’ Eve' (Dziady), a poetic drama by the Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, has been staged without any cuts to the original text, in a performance lasting fourteen hours, with six intervals, at the Teatr Polski (Polish Theatre).

The title of the drama, in four parts, refers to “Dziady”, an ancient Slavic ritual of commemorating forefathers. Written when Poland was partitioned by its neighbours, it deals with the Polish defiance of the Tsarist occupiers.

In 1968, a production of 'Forefathers’ Eve’ at the National Theatre in Warsaw was banned by the communist authorities for whom the drama had too many parallels to the political situation of the time to be tolerated. The regime’s decision led to student demonstrations in Warsaw and other cities, known as the March 1968 events.

The poster of the current Wrocław production features a 1968 photograph of protesting students. Michał Zadara, the director of the production, said before the premiere that the idea of the 1968 protests was not to censor 'Forefathers’ Eve'.

Now, for the first time, we are able to fulfil this postulate.”

Following Saturday’s premiere, the production will be presented at the Wrocław threatre in four parts on four consecutive nights. A full, fourteen-hour version is going to be repeated in April. (mk/ nh)

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