On 25 January, The National Theatre in Warsaw hosts the long-awaited premiere of Ice with Danuta Stenka and Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, directed by prominent Russian director Konstantin Bogomolov. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is the co-producer of the event.
Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin, who is the author of many controversial plays and scenarios focusing on demoralisation of society, spread of fascism and pornography, and who is a master in style, has been translated into many languages. During the spectacular protests of 2002, a pro-Putin youth organisation spoke against one of Sorokin's librettos, tearing copies of his novel into shreds and flushing them down the toilet. Since then, theatre directors remain nervous about public’s reaction to Sorokin’s texts. Moscow is now asking whether the Polish staging of Ice will change this controversial image.
Konstantin Bogomolov’s plays, Ideal Husband and Lear. Comedy, have been presented to Polish audiences last year in Warsaw, transmitted live from Moscow during the closing event of the Da! Da! Da! festival of Russian culture in Poland, organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
- I do not know what the reactions of the audience will be like, the very look of the performance is extraordinary and unusual for the national stage. I try not to repeat what I'm doing, I'm still looking for new forms. Working on Ice for me was a difficult process and I'm proud of what we have put together - reveals to us the director.
- Sorokin proves that the modern system of government in Russia had not changed since the time of Ivan the Terrible - adds Agnieszka Lubomira Piotrowska, translator and scholar of Sorokin’s work. Not only in Russia there was a breakthrough, more and more names of Russian playwrights and directors also appear on our posters in Poland. I am glad that we can break through stereotypes and bring closer to the Polish public eye Russian literature culture.
Konstantin Bogomolov’s Ice at the National Theatre in Warsaw from Culture.pl on Vimeo.
In search of the lost paradise
As critics point out, Ice is the pinnacle of Sorokin’s creativity, and it combines the history of European totalitarianism with visions straight from science fiction. The author himself says, rather, that it is a reaction to the disappointment with modern intellectualism and crumbling civilization. - "Ice is not a novel about totalitarianism, but a novel about the search for a lost paradise" - says the creator.
The premiere of Ice will be on January 25, 2014, at the Bogusławski Hall of the National Theatre in Warsaw. Cast: Mariusz Bonaszewski, Dobromid Dymecki, Wiktoria Gorodeckaja, Anna Grycewicz, Waldemar Kownacki, Karol Pocheć, Jerzy Radziwiłłowicz, Mateusz Rusin, Bożena Stachura, Danuta Stenka, Przemysław Stippa, Milena Suszyńska
The show, co-produced by The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, will be accompanied by a meeting about Sorokin’s book Construction of Meat. Participants will consider: among other things what is the ice in the Russian tradition, what are the sources of literary and political movements, how is Russia and its society shown through the prism of the novel. The discussion will take place on 26 January 2014 and will be attended by the director Konstantin Bogomolov, translator Agnieszka Lubomira Piotrowska, head of the Polish Institute in Moscow, Marek Radziwon, and journalist Paweł Reszka.
Source : own materials, press releases, coll . Anna Legierska, Video: Catherine Arc, Marek Sokołowski
Edited by E.M. 22.01.2014