Stage and film actor, director. Born on the 5th of October 1951 in Warsaw.
Stage and film actor, director.
Adam Ferency in "The Battle of Warsaw 1920"
He is a graduate of the State Higher School of Theatre in Warsaw, where he completed his studies in 1976. The same year, he made his stage debut at Warsaw's Dramatic Theater in the role of Stachowski in Karykatura / Caricature by Jan August Kisielewski, under the direction of Gustaw Holoubek. But the stage with which he made his ties early on was the "Na Woli" Theater, headed by his theater school professor - Tadeusz Łomnicki. It is there that he played his first major role, as Jok Skokic/Hamlet, in Przedstawienie "Hamleta" we wsi Głucha Dolna / Acting "Hamlet" in the Village of Mrdusa Donja by Ivo Bresan, under the direction of Kazimierz Kutz (1977). In 1981-1994, Ferency performed in Warsaw's Contemporary Theater. He played a great John Merrick/Elephant Man in the celebrated Człowiek słoń / Elephant Man by Bernard Pomorance, directed by Marcel Kochańczyk (1983). He was also the Drunkard in Ślub / The Wedding by Witold Gombrowicz under the direction of Krzysztof Zaleski (1983), Azazello in the legendary Mistrz i Małgorzata / The Master and Margarita by Nikolai Bulgakov, directed by Maciej Englert (1986), Blaise Belzile in Sami porządni ludzie / Bousille and the Just by Gratien Gélinas, directed by Kazimierz Kutz (1992), as well as Hitler in the play Hitler-Stalin by Stanisław Brejdygant, directed by the author on the stage of Cracow's STU Theatre (1992). Ferency made his directorial debut in 1993, at the Contemporary Theater with his production of David Mamet's Hollywood, Hollywood / Speed the Plow.
Since 1994, Ferency has worked extensively with Warsaw's Dramatic Theater, where he has crafted his most complete roles to date. The actor has given especially prominent performances in the productions of Piotr Cieplak - the poignant Historyja o chwalebnym Zmartwychwstaniu Pańskim / The Story of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord by Mikołaj of Wilkowiecko (1994) and Wyprawy krzyżowe / The Crusades by Miron Białoszewski (1995), in which he made up a formidable duet with Aleksandra Konieczna. His portarayals of Beckettian characters in the productions of Antoni Libera constitute a career chapter unto themselves. Ferency portrayed Willie in Szczęśliwe dni / Happy Days (1995), Pozzo in Czekając na Godota / Waiting for Godot (1996) and Hamm in Końcówka / Endgame (1997). In each role, his performances were a lesson in acting technique. After seeing Endgame Jarosław Kisieliński commented:
Ferency creates a series of masks, behind which hides Hamm, and from behind them it is impossible to distinguish his true face (as at the circus, when a complex juggling pattern eclipses the juggler himself). ("Teatr" 1997, nr 12)
Ferency made a great impression as Petrucchio in Shakespeare's Poskromienie złośnicy / The Taming of the Shrew under the direction of Krzysztof Warlikowski (1997). In the role, he made use of his film background of grim, contemporary characters. Two years later he played the lead role in Powrót Odysa / The Return of Odysseus by Stanisław Wyspiański, directed by Krystian Lupa. Ferency has also collaborated with the Rozmaitości Theater in Warsaw. He played under the direction of Grzegorz Jarzyna in Uroczystość / The Celebration by Mogens Rukov and Thomas Vinterberg (2001), and portarayed Prospero in the excellent production of Shakespeare's Burza / The Tempest, directed by Warlikowski (2003, television version - 2008).
Prospero's epilogue becomes profound and truly final, spoken in near darkness, hushed and motionless, in perfect intimacy with the audience - Piotr Gruszczyński wrote of the closing act: The intimate monologue imbues the production with a sense of truth, even as it reveals the alchemy of its stagecraft. The actor transcends his role and denies us a last chance to to commune with a righteous world. We are left alone with our great guilt. Only when we are back in the theater can we begin to redeem it. ("Tygodnik Powszechny" 2003, nr 3)
On the stage of the Dramatic Theater, Ferency also portrayed Jan Dítě III in the successful adaptaion of Bohumil Hrabal's novel Obsługiwałem angielskiego króla / I Served the King of England under the direction of Piotr Cieślak (2003) and, later, the rapist Ray in Blackbird by David Harrower, directed by Grażyna Kania (2004) – a psychological drama about confronting past wrongs. In the experimental Peer Gynt. Szkice z dramatu Henryka Ibsena / Peer Gynt. Sketches from Ibsen's Play (2007), directed by Paweł Miśkiewicz, Ferency portrayed one among many Peer Gynts (the director presented five Peers, each being a projection of a facet of the title character's personality). He embodied the wrath and thirst for power of the title character in the dynamic and inventively staged Andrei Moguchi production of Boris Godunov based on the tragedy by Alexander Pushkin and the opera by Modest Mussorgsky (2008). Recently, he has also performed as Gabriel Baltazar in Kristian Lupa's production Persona. Tryptyk / Marilyn / Persona. Triptych / Marylin (2009).
When you're short, bald and stocky - well, you're not cast as the leading hero - Ferency says about his film roles. ("Gazeta Wyborcza" 2001, nr 233)
He has specialized in playing policemen, criminals and secret police functionaries. But before he played the insidious secret police officer in Przesłuchanie / Interrogation by Ryszard Bugajski (1982), he portrayed stolid young men in the 1970s: in Niedzielne dzieci / Sunday's Children (1976) and Aktorzy prowincjonalni / Provincial Actors (1978) by Agnieszka Holland, as well as in Wsteczny bieg / Reverse Gear by Laco Adamik (1978). He also portrayed Heniek in Akcja pod Arsenałem / Operation Arsenal by Jan Łomnicki (1977), Kiełza in Agnieszka Holland's Gorączka / Fever (1980), the Priest in Przypadek / Blind Chance Krzysztof Kieślowski (1981) and Zenon in Matka Królów / Mother of Kings by Janusz Zaorski (1982). His repertoire of "uniformed" characters includes the Russian investigator Yegor Potapovich Yegorov in Kanalia / Scoundrel by Tomasz Wiszniewski (1992), for which Ferency was recognized at the Gdynia film festival, secret police colonel Kizior in Pułkownik Kwiatkowski / Colonel Kwiatkowski by Kutz (1995), and General Yegorov in the series Przeprowadzki / Relocations by Leszek Wosiewicz (2000). Recently, Ferency played Witold in Pornografia / Pornography by Witold Gombrowicz, brought to the screen by Jan Jakub Kolski (2002).
From the beginnings of his career, Ferency has kept close links with the Television Theater and the Polish Radio Theater, played many roles for both. He has been Shakespeare's Macbeth, as well as Mephistopheles in Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Faust. Of late, Ferency has appaeared on the televized "Scena Faktu / Scene of the Facts" , where he portarayed Henryk Szwejcer, sentenced to death in a rigged trial in Golgota wrocławska / Wrocław Golgotha by Piotr Kokociński and the character of Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, under the direction of Jan Komasa (2008). In O prawo głosu / For the Right to Vote by Robert Miękus and directed by Janusz Petelski, Ferency played Stanisław Mikołajczyk, a Polish politician and democrat in the throes of dramatic post-war elections (2008).
- 1988 – Award from the Polish Radio and Television Commission for performances in televized productions: "Pasjans / Solitaire" written and directed by Paweł Trzaska, "Postępowanie wyjaśniające/ Departmental" by Mervyn Rusterford, directed by Tomasz Zygadła, "Przedstawienie 'Hamleta' we wsi Głucha Dolna / Acting 'Hamlet' in the Village of Mrdusa Donja" by Ivo Bresan, directed by Olga Lipińska "Choroba młodości / Sickness of Youth" by Ferdinand Bruckner, directed by Krzysztof Zaleski;
- 1991 – Gdańsk Golden Lions for best male performance in the Tomasz Wiszniewski film "Kanalia / Scoundrel";
- 2000 - Grand Splendor – awarded by Polish Radio Theater;
- 2003 – Actors' award for role in the radio-play "Noc Walpurgii, albo kroki Komandora / Walpurgis Night, or the Commander's Footsteps" at the 3rd "Two Theaters" Festival of Polish Radio Theater and Polish Public Television Theater;
- 2006 – Special Award for the role of the Butler in the TV series "Niania / The Nanny" produced by TVN Television, at the 7th Good Humor Festival in Gdańsk;
- 2007 – Award for the role of Ray in "Blackbird" by David Harrower, directed by Grażyna Kania, Dramatic Theater in Warsaw, at the 7th "Reality Revealed" Contemporary Drama Festival in Zabrze;
- 2009 - Grand Prix for the television production "Wrocław Golgotha / Golgota wrocławska" by Piotr Kokociński and Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, directed by Jan Komasa, at the 9th "Two Theaters" Festival of Polish Radio Theater and Polish Public Television Theater in Sopot.
Author: Monika Mokrzycka-Pokora, October 2003; updated: September 2009.