Warlikowski's Shakespeare Awarded at Divine Comedy
small, Warlikowski's Shakespeare Awarded at Divine Comedy, The African Tales by Shakespeare, photo by Magda Hueckel, opowiesci_afr_sesja2_114_resize.jpg
The director's Nowy Teatr production takes top honors in the Inferno competition at Kraków's annual theatre festival, with Krystian Lupa declared Best Director.
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The African Tales by Shakespeare is the top Polish theatre production of 2012, as selected by the international jury at the 5th annual Divine Comedy Festival in Kraków. Krzysztof Warlikowski combines themes and characters from King Lear, The Merchant of Venice and Othello in a massive spectacle combining the incisive Nowy Teatr actors (with Adam Ferency in the three central roles), Małgorzata Szczęśniak's imposing stage design, and a penetrating score by Pawel Mykietyn. The distinction includes a 50,000 PLN award, and it is Warlikowski's best result to date at the festival's annual Inferno showcase of new Polish productions.
The Best Director award went to Krystian Lupa, for his Waiting Room.0 with the Teatr Polski in Wrocław. It is a fitting tribute to the director, who received a special mention at Divine Comedy in 2010 and whose Factory 2.0 was the Best Production at the festival's first edition, in 2008. Halina Rasiakówna received Best Female Role for her performance in Waiting Room as Pani Hubert, and both awards included 10,000 PLN. Best Male Role went to Michał Jarmicki in The Tempest, another production in the Inferno competition based on Shakespeare, directed by Maja Kleczewska with the Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz.
Director Krzysztof Garbaczewski was awarded two prizes, for his scenography and visual design in Iwona, Princess of Burgundy by Witold Gombrowicz. Garbaczewski's production premiered in spring 2012 at the Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole, and his design fit effectively onto the chamber stage of the Stary Theatre in Kraków for the festival presentations. Paper screens masked most of the stage, forming a labyrinth from which a roving camera projected the action on a large screen above the stage. The theatre's rotating stage was put into potent effect before the disruptive, fascinating finale. The complex design was crucial to Gombrowicz's harsh comedy, which has been staged by renowned directors including Ingmar Bergman. Garbaczewski had received Best Director at the festival in 2010, and each of his awards in 2012 include 10,000 PLN.
The Divine Comedy jurists - theatre directors from Buenos Aires and Lucerne and the Hong Kong Arts Festival's associate program director - gave distinctions to the Sosnowiec Coalfield Theatre for their entertaining murder mystery, Rootman. Composer Jacek Grudzień was awarded for Original Music for his forceful, enjoyable score, and Edyta Ostajak took Best Supporting Female Role. Best Supporting Male Role went to Andrzej Kłak for his guest role as journalist Carl Bernstein, dying in pajamas in the raucous comedy On Being Good by the Szaniawski Drama Theatre in Wałbrzych. The play's director-writer team, Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski, have received two Best Production awards at the festival, in 2011 and 2010.
From the 5th to the 14th of December 2012, Divine Comedy showcased over two dozen productions in Kraków theatres, from the legendary Stary Theatre to the Factory Club across the Vistula River and at the Łaznia Nowa theatre in nearby Nowa Huta, along with public meetings with directors and performers. Festival director Bartosz Szydłowski launched Divine Comedy in 2008, and it has grown to be a persuasive display of Polish theatre today, bringing together local and international audiences each December. Complementing the Inferno competition of new Polish productions, which were selected by a panel of Polish theatre critics, Divine Comedy features productions in the Paradiso category of young directors, and the Purgatorio category, which included two special productions for the festival's 5th edition by the directors Radosław Rychcik and Michał Zadara.
For more information on the Divine Comedy International Theatre Festival in English, see: www.boskakomedia.pl
Editor: Alan Lockwood
Source: Press information, own sources