Glińska's The Seagull On Stage in Warsaw
small, Glińska's The Seagull On Stage in Warsaw, Joanna Szczepkowska (Irina Arkadina) and Modest Ruciński (Konstantin Trieplev). Photo: Bartosz Krupa / East News, fo_mewa_narodowy_szczepkowska_3941151.jpg
No more does the world of stately manor houses, frivolous landowners, horse riding, and evening gatherings at family estates, exist. Those kerosene lamps may have long dimmed, but the bright light of longevity does not go out on masterpieces. Chekhov's masterpiece, in particular, has not succumb to the ravages of time, despite its having been written almost a century ago. Indeed, Agnieszka Glińska is the latest dramatist to hold a mirror up to the unique Russian playwright's drama.
Regardless of the constant progression of civilization, today's world still retains its fair share of lonely persons, deeply immersed in their feelings and bad decision-making, which threaten both themselves and their surroundings. As Nina tells Konstantin, "It doesn't matter, whether we're acting on stage, or writing, the crowning achievement is not glory, glamour, nor personal ambition. It's about the potential to endure suffering".
Agnieszka Glińska has a weakness for Chekhov, albeit an adept hand at adapting the playwright. She's known for the fact that she doesn't make classical theatre contemporary. She cares about extracting the truth from the text.
"In 'The Seagull' Chekhov explores the relationships between art and life; about the mixing of art and life", says the dramatist. "And about the escape from life into art, with the price the artist pays for his own choices. Why do people create? What is Art? Who is an artist? When does one become an artist? He asks the simplest of questions. But also the most difficult and capricious ones. These are questions posed by an intelligent individual, who knows exactly what it means to create. He also knows the pitfalls of creativity. When we first started rehearsals, somewhere between the poetry came the question, 'What does it mean to kill the seagull inside yourself?'. This became our motto, one we would frequently come back to. Until what moment is an artist authentic, honest, real? And when does he start to become an artist overly-involved in himself? When does talent become blasphemy? And how is it exactly that heat, passion, and the search for "new forms" can become routine?"
Making an appearance was also rarely-seen actress Joanna Szczepkowska. She stars amongst other strong actor presences, a type with whom Agnieszka Glińska is long privy to working with.
"In Chekhov, generally, people don't say that what they really think. The whole work depends on that, so as to create a dialogue about what is otherwise passed over in silence", declares the actress. "I think that Arkadina will pay a heavy price for a life lived in illusion. The role is a lesson in life."
Chekhov has inspired some truly anguished characters. The task of the theatre is to communicate this, with regards to every last one.
Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Translation: Agnieszka Lubomira Piotrowska. Direction: Agnieszka Glińska. Set design: Magdalena Maciejewska. Costumes: Agnieszka Zawadowska. Music: Jan Duszyński. Lighting design: Jacqueline Sobiszewski. Choreography: Weronika Pelczyńska. Cast: Joanna Szczepkowska, Modest Ruciński, Włodzimierz Press, Dominika Kluźniak, Krzysztof Stroiński, Dorota Landowska, Patrycja Soliman, Krzysztof Stelmaszyk, Paweł Wawrzecki, Grzegorz Kwiecień, Karol Pocheć. Premiere: November 18, 2010 (Wierzbowa Street Hall).
Source: Press release, www.narodowy.pl