Polish film director, playwright, theatre manager and producer. Born on the 15th of February 1947 in Warsaw.
Polish film director, playwright, theatre manager and producer.
In 1974 he graduated from the directing faculty of the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre (PWSTiF) in Łódź. During his studies as a theatre director, he drew the attention of dramaturge Konstanty Puzyna, who in 1972 wrote about Marczewski's interpretation of "Didaskalia do życiorysu Offa" with great acclaim about the life memoir of poet Bogdan Chorążuk. The play was shown at Stage 61 in the Teatr Ateneum in Warsaw.
For the first three years after film school, Andrzej Maria Marczewski worked as a director at the Czołówka Film Studio. From 1977 onwards, from a recommendation by the Ministry of Culture and Arts, he became director of the Dramatic Theatre in Wałbrzych. His managerial skills helped increase the number of viewers from forty thousand to a hundred thousand spectators a year. Here, he also introduced the world premiere of Karol Wojtyła's "Przed Sklepem Jubilera" / "In front of the Jewele'’s Shop", and the Polish premiere of his own adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita". The unique atmosphere established in these, and many other plays directed by Marczewski, were created with the help of magical music composed by Tadeusz Woźniak. The director was able to successfully provide all the essential themes from the original literature, and even outwit censorship and have additional fragments of text, absent in the available Polish translations.
'The Master and Margarita' became the most important and fondest book at school in my opinion. As a student, I had the opportunity to read an original printed version in the Soviet journal called 'Moscow', said the director. The book is not only honest, but it is magical. Reading it, I walked through Moscow in a path of adventures led by the footsteps of the heroes of the novel and its author. I had the opportunity to talk with Lyubov Belozerskaya-Bulgakova, the second wife of the writer. I was at Bulgakov's grave, at the famous Novodevichy cemetery in Russia, where he was buried nearby Chekhov and Stanislavski. Presently, with the graffiti painted on the walls of the stairwell on ul. Sadowa Street, one can read the inscription stating: 'Woland, come back!'.
The director returned to numerous other theatres with his staging of "The Master and Margarita" in cities such as Płock (1981), Bydgoszcz (1988), Bielsko-Biała (1998), Łódź (2003) and Sosnowiec (2006). Each version was modified and different. In the Bielsko adaptation for example, Marczewski applied the "mirror effect" for the first time. Characters from the historic setting - appearing in the Master's novel - had their reflections perceived through people living in Moscow at the height of Stalinism. For example, the actor playing the role of the Master was also Yeshua, as well as the actor Mateusz Lewita, playing the role of Ivan Ponyryov or more known by his penname - Ivan the Homeless.
"This is consistent with what we know today about parallel worlds, relativity and curved space time", the director argues.
True to Bulgakov, he also staged the Polish premiere of "Heart of a dog" when, after winning the competition in 1981, he became the manager of the Dramatic Theatre in Płock. The spectacle was quickly removed from the stage due to the intervention of the Soviet embassy. The adaptation of Jerzy Andrzejewski's prose had also not been staged, and as the author mentioned in his diaries, "Gra z cieniem" / "Playing with shadows" with an entry dated 8 of May 1981:
I received a letter from the manager of the Dramatic Theatre in Płock, Andrzej Maria Marczewski, with the proposal to issue 'Apelacja' / 'Appeal'. This project both surprised me and made me content, because my novel, published abroad in 1968, was scarcely known in Poland.
From 1983, Marczewski supervised the Rozmaitości Theatre in Warsaw, where just before the premiere; authorities withdrew their permission for staging "Termopil polskich" / "The Polish Thermopylae" by Tadeusz Miciński. After staging the premiere of "Promieniowanie Ojcostwa" / "Radiation of Fatherhood" written by Karol Wojtyła, as well as "Santa Maria Della Salute" by Velimir Lukic, Marczewski leaves the theatre being banned from further work in Poland.
During the difficult times of martial law - and the late 1980s - he continued to direct in the former Yugoslavia: "Święty diabeł Rasputin" / "Rasputin the Holy Devil" written by Aco Popovic in Belgrade, "Noc Bogów" / "The Night of the Gods" written by Miro Gavran in Mostar, the world premiere of Janusz Glowacki's, "Fortynbras się upił" / "Fortinbras got drunk" in Sarajevo, and "Wielka magia" / "Great magic" written by Eduardo de Filippo in the city of Pula. There, organisers of the International Theatre Festival in Novi Sad, invited him with his stage interpretation of Lukic's drama from the Rozmaitości Theatre in Warsaw.
From 1986 he led the Baltic Theatre in Koszalin, where he premiered "Smutne losy Jana Piszczyka ciąg dalszy, czyli zezowate szczęscie 2" / "The Sad fate of Jan Piszczyk, the continuation, cross-eyed happiness 2", written by Jerzy Stefan Stawiński. He led the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz for six seasons from 1988, where his most famous production - "The Master and Margarita", also staged at the Warsaw Theatre Meetings. After six years of managerial duties at the theatre in Bydgoszcz, Marczewski left over thirty plays in the repertoire including: "Hamlet", "Polish Thermopylae", "Wyzwolenie" / "Deliverance", "Brat naszego Boga" / "Brother of our God", the polish premiere of "Dialogues of the Carmelites" by Georges Bernanos, "Obóz Wszystkich Świętych" / "Every Saint's Camp" by Tadeusz Nowakowski, as well as "The caretaker" written by Harold Pinter).
In 1998, Marczewski won the contest for the manager of the Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre in Kalisz, yet the direction of the theatre was put in completely different hands. Under a lot of opposition pressure and constraint, he did not fall under the weight of adversity, only - as befits a true man of the theatre - Marczewski embarked on his own wagon of Thespis around Poland.
Along with his wife, actress Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Marczewski established and maintains the Test Theatre Studio in Warsaw. This private theatre held the inaugural presentation of "Dzieci z dworca ZOO" / "Children of the Zoo Station", which played at the Komedia Theatre in Warsaw's Żoliborz, however the group would more frequently make guest appearances at different venues. His troupe would often be invited to make appearances because they had an original repertoire, including the interesting adaptations of 'Faust' by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, "Ferdydurke" by Witold Gombrowicz and "Sklepy Cynamonowe" / "The Cinnamon Shops" by Bruno Schulz. Although the private Test Theatre Studio in Warsaw has a contact address in Warsaw; it rarely performs in the capital.
With the introduction of the esoteric art premiere called "Kto?" / "Who?" written by Stephanie de Ratuld, this play permitted the Test Theatre Studio in Warsaw to open a new stage called the Mentalny Theatre in 1998. This French text, which Marczewski directed for the first time a season earlier at the Dramatic Theatre named after Aleksander Węgier in Białystok, deals with the otherworldly experiences to which modern science is still helpless. This area of research appears to be very close to the author's interests, willingly moving in a circle of transcendental experience, as evidenced through the presentations of: "Faust", "The Carmelite Dialogues" his own "Słupnik" / "Stylites" and "The Master and Margarita".
"Kto?" / "Who?", turned out to be an ostentatiously non-present day text - affirming goodness, love, help given to others, being yourself and part of God. It was an intimate response which turned down the pervasive brutality of morals. The theme of the heroes return is particularly moving, as this two-person intimate performance brings them back into their previous lives, when they met as Mikhail Bulgakov (on the threshold of death) and his beloved wife Helen.
In the Mentalny Theatre, which gave the assumption of being a rather poor venture, Andrzej Maria Marczewski produced a stage version of the altered states of consciousness, a reviewer of the newspaper Rzeczpospolita noted. Altered in a sense of being deprived of fashionable accessories, especially nowadays; which sets the standard and perspective of a contemporary theatre such as: vulgar language, violence, sexual deviation. What a brave man!
Andrzej Maria Marczewski's theatre style and ethics are primarily original concepts of the plays themselves, establishing an accurate knowledge of the subject matter, which is supported by a solid directing workshop, and always visible commitment from his actors. Marczewski offers them a very modest stage, refraining from the use of many technical possibilities, which professional theaters are equipped with.
Thanks to these methods, he captures a clear, acting spectacle. Condensed, clean and close to the original perception of a fairground theatre.
Marczewski's productions move the viewer's imagination through the power of words and asceticism rather than the wealth of the technical means used. This confirms the well known saying - which is equally seldom respected in practice - stating that restrictions make perfection.
He wrote a separate chapter within his life accomplishments as the author of stage works, which he consistently stages himself. His newest works include: "Stylites" and "Casting. Zobacz, kto przyjdzie do ciebie dziś wieczorem" / "Casting. See who will come to you this evening".
"Stylites", requires a certain preparation from the viewer - meaning knowledge of the Bible, and pieces from the history of religion and the church (not just Catholic), in the Gnostic, and philosophical canons of world literature. In more basic terms, the play deals with intelligently tailored comedy about contemporary Polish reality, involving many current accents. The confrontation of these two extremely distant worlds gives the intended grotesque feel and effect of the spectacle.
"Stylites", is the story of a man in his prime, who rejects the Polish model of modern capitalist consumption and begins to live a life in spiritual contact with the Supreme. He stands on a narrow platform placed on top of a column - in isolation. This gesture causes quite a stir. A manifest of the rejection of values, which society embraces, attracts crowds of various people to come and stand beneath the column. Naturally the media, speculators, swindlers and bad or corrupt politicians are also drawn to this event in order to use this for their own greedy purposes. The hero, who is standing atop the column, does not see what is happening below and is unfortunately unaware of the situation.
In "Casting ...", on the other hand, two individuals, sent as messengers by one of the most popular live television programs, seduce the main character into taking part in a reality show. The setting behind the reality TV show is even worse, pertaining to the fate of the spirit of the guilty girl - upon which, viewers are to vote via tele-voting. The story, boldly oscillating between a serious and light-heated tone, inevitably approaches towards the worst scenario...
Art is both the perfect observation of a contemporary drama picture, a psychological thriller, as well as an accurate satire on the electronic media involved in the life of modern man. It denounces the impudence marketing and advertising techniques have nowadays. Along with that, the author gives a neat portrayal of stupefying television programs, where implementers are forced to fight for the highest audience ratings.
Andrzej Maria Marczewski was always at the antipodes of this understood TV and media practice.
Major works as a director by Andrzej Maria Marczewski include:
- 1973 - "Rok 1809 według Wacława Gąsiorowskiego" / "The Year 1809 in terms of Wacław Gąsiorowski" (adaptation as well), parts 1-5, TV series;
- 1981 - "Chrońmy męczeństwa cmentarne" / "Protect the martyrdom Cemetery", (screenplay as well), educational documentary,
Film Studio Czołówka;
- 1995 - "Orestes naszych czasów", Polish-Croation co-production; (directed by Ewa Grabowska); casting - Parados; production studio: Raja Film, Szczecin; Jadran Film, Zagreb; Pula Festival, Pula.
- 1974 - "Wakacje nad Adriatykiem Zofii Posmysz" / "Zofia Posmysz's Vacation at the Adriatic";
- 1975 - "Ktoś powinien" / "Someone Should", written by Daniil Alexsandrovich Granin;
- 1975 - "Nie ma sprawy" / "No problem", written by Władysław Orłowski;
- 1975 - "Rok polski" / "A Polish year" by Stanisław Grochowiak;
- 1977 - "Trzy kobiety" / "Three women" written by Sylvia Plath;
- 1987 - "Promieniowanie ojcostwa" / "Radiation of Fatherhood", written by Karol Wojtyła.
- 1970 - "Szymon Słupnik" / "Simeon Stylites", by Andrzej Maria Marczewski, STS Cytryna, Łódź, premiere;
- 1972 - "Didaskalia do życiorysu" by Bogdan Chorążuk, ARA Theatre, Stage 61 of the Athenaeum Theatre, Warsaw, premiere 31 of January 1972;
- 1974 - "Szachy" / "Chess" by Stanisław Grochowiak, The Contemporary Theatre, Łódź, premiere on the 16th of February 1974;
- 1975 - "Worcell" by Andrzej Maria Marczewski (based on Henryk Worcell), Universal Theatre named after Edmund Wierciński, Wrocław, premiere on the 4th of April 1975;
- 1978 - "Lato Muminków" / "Moomin Summer" by Tove Jansson, Jerzy Szaniawski Dramatic Theatre, Wałbrzych, premiere on the 28th of January 1978; as well as: 1979 - Pomeranian Ground Theatre, Grudziądz; 1995 - Comedy Theatre, Warsaw;
- 1978 - "Poseł" / "MP" by Andrzej Maria Marczewski, Wałbrzych, premiere on the 6th of October 1978;
- 1979 - "Antygona" / "Antigone" by Jean Anouilh, Wałbrzych, premiere on the 4th of May 1979;
- 1980 - "The Master and Margarita" written by Mikhail Bulgakov, (also an adaptation), Wałbrzych, premiere on the 27th of April 1980; as well as: 1981 - Jerzy Szaniawski Dramatic Theatre, Płock; 1988 - The Polish Theatre, Bydgoszcz; 1998 - The Polish Theatre, Bielsko-Biała; 2003 - The Kazimierz Dejmka New Theatre, Łódź; 2006 - Zagłębia Theatre, Sosnowiec;
- 1981 - "Przed sklepem jubilera" / "In front of the Jeweler's Shop" written by Karol Wojtyła, Wałbrzych, premiere on the 27th of March 1981; as well as: 1981 - Płock; 1982 - The New Theatre, Poznań; 1991 - Aleksander Węgierko Dramatic Theatre, Białystok; 1991 - The Polish Theatre, Bydgoszcz; 2002 - Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw; 2003 - The New Theatre, Łódź; 2011 - The Witkacy New Theatre, Słupsk;
- 1981 - "Kolęda-polska-nocka" written by Ernest Bryll and Wojciech Trzciński, Płock, 12 December 1981;
- 1982 - "Brat naszego Boga" / "Our God's Brother" written by Karol Wojtyła, Płock, premiere on the 18th of September 1982; as well as: 1991 - Bydgoszcz;
- 1982 - "Termopile polskie" / "The Polish Thermopylae" written by Tadeusz Miciński, (adaptation as well), Rozmaitości Theatre, Warszawa, premiere on the 16th of October 1982; as well as: 1989 - Bydgoszcz, 2006 - Łódź;
- 1983 - "Heart of a dog" by Mikhail Bulgakov, (adaptation as well), Płock, premiere on the 14th of January 1983;
- 1983 - "Święty diabeł Rasputin" / "Rasputin the Holy Devil" by Aco Popovicia, Narodno Pozoriste, Belgrad, premiere on the 23rd of April 1983;
- 1983 - "Promieniowanie ojcostwa" / "Radiation of Fatherhood" written by Karol Wojtyła, Rozmaitości Theatre, Warsaw, premiere on the 11th of June 1983; as well as: 1989 - Bydgoszcz;
- 1983 - "Santa Maria Della Salute" written by Velimir Lukic, Rozmaitości Theatre, Warsaw, Polish premiere on the 9th of September 1983;
- 1983 - "Oni" / "Them" written by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Płock, premiere on the 26th of November 1983
- 1984 - "Balladyna" written by Juliusz Słowacki, Rozmaitości Theatre, Warsaw, premiere on the 6th of April 1984;
- 1984 - "Na czworakach" by Tadeusz Różewicz, Płock, premiere on the 19th of May 1984; as well as: 1985 - Rozmaitości Theatre, Warsaw;
- 1984 - "Ashes and Diamonds" written by Jerzy Andrzejewski, (adaptation as well), Rozmaitości Theatre, Warsaw, premiere on the 22nd of July 1984;
- 1985 - "Jan Maciej Karol Wścieklica" by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Targówek Theatre, Warsaw, premiere on the 14th of November 1985;
- 1986 - "Legion" written by Stanisław Wyspiański, The Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków, premiere on the 8th of March 1986;
- 1986 - "Smutnych losów Jana Piszczyka ciąg dalszy, czyli zezowate szczęście 2" / "The Sad fate of Jan Piszczyk, the continuation , cross-eyed happiness 2" written by Jerzy Stefan Stawiński, Juliusz Słowacki Baltic Dramatic Theatre, Koszalin, premiere on the 20th of September 1986;
- 1986 - "Legenda o szczęściu bez granic" / "The Legend of Happiness without Borders" written by Ulrich Plenzdorf, Koszalin, premiere on the 18th of October 1986;
- 1987 - "Noc listopadowa" / "A November Night" written by Stanisław Wyspiański, The Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Kraków, premiere on the 27th of September 1987;
- 1987 - "Noc bogów" / "The Night of the Gods" by Miro Gavran, Narodno Pozoriste, Mostar, premiere;
- 1988 - "The Purple Island" written by Mikhail Bulgakov, Satire Mascaron Theatre, Kraków, premiere on the 30th of April 1988;
- 1989 - "Obywatel Pekosiewicz" / "Citizen Pekosiewicz" by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 29th of March 1989;
- 1989 - "Mrożek 27" (based on Sławomir Mrożek's play "Alfa" / "Alpha"), Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 16th of September 1989;
- 1990 - "Fortynbras się upił" / "Fortynbras got Drunk" written by Janusz Głowacki, Sarajevo, premiere; as well as: 1990 - Bydgoszcz;
- 1990 - "Wyzwolenie" / "Liberation" written by Stanisław Wyspiański, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 1st of December 1990;
- 1991 - "Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda" / "Yvonne, The Princess of Burgundy" written by Witold Gombrowicz, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 31st December 1991;
- 1992 - "Jacques the Fatalist and his Master" by Denis Diderot (adaptation as well), Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 7th of June 1992; as well as: 2007 - in Sosnowiec;
- 1992 - "The Threepenny Opera" written by Bertolt Brecht, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 5th of December 1992;
- 1993 - "Cycek" / "Tit" written by Krzysztof Daukszewicz, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 2nd of October 1993;
- 1993 - "Cabaret" by John Kander, Joe Masteroff and Fred Ebb, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 24th of April 1993; as well as: 2011 - in Słupsk;
- 1993 - "My Fair Lady" written by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, Nova Opera, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 5th of June 1993;
- 1994 - "Obóz Wszystkich Świętych" / "Every Saint's Camp" written by Tadeusz Nowakowski, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 20th of January 1994;
- 1994 - "Hamlet" written by William Shakespeare, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 27th of April 1994;
- 1994 - "Dozorca" / "The Caretaker" written by Harold Pinter, International Theatre Festival, St. Petersburg, premiere in April 1994;
- 1995 - "Faust" written by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Płock, premiere on the 1st of October 1995; as well as: 1996 - Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw; 1996 - Białystok; 1997 - The Adam Mickiewicz Theatre, Częstochowa;
- 1996 - "Słupnik" / "Stylites" by Andrzej Maria Marczewski, (new version), Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw, premiere on the 25th of March 1996; as well as: 1998 - in Bielsko-Biała;
- 1998 - "Ferdydurke" by Witold Gombrowicz, (adaptation and set decoration as well), Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw, premiere on the 13th of May 1998; as well as: 1999 - (adaptation as well), Płock;
- 1997 - "Kubuś Puchatek" / "Winnie the Pooh" by Alan Alexander Milne, (musical), "Teatr Syrena" / "Syrena Theatre", Warsaw, premiere (musical version) 21 September 1997; as well as: 1997 - in Białystok; 1999 - in Bielsko-Biała; 2000 - at the Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw;
- 1998 - "Kto" / "Who?" written by Stephanie de Ratuld, Białystok, premiere on the 18th of January 1998; as well as: 1998 - Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw;
- 1998 - "Gianni Schicci" and "Suor Angelica" by Giacomo Puccini, Nova Opera, Bydgoszcz, premiere;
- 2000 - "Most królowej Jadwigi" / "Queen Jadwiga's Bridge" by Jerzy Sulima-Kamiński (adaptation as well), Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 25th of March 2000 (part 1.) and the 15th of April 2000 (part 2.);
- 2001 - "Tamara L." by Kazimierz Braun, (set design as well), Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw and the Teatr na Barce, Bydgoszcz, premiere on the 28th of October 2001;
- 2001 - "Arszenik i stare koronki" / "Arsenic and Old Lace" written by Joseph Kesselring, benefit of Hanna Bielicka, Sabat Theatre, Warsaw, premiere on the 20th of December 2001;
- 2004 - "Casting. Zobacz, kto przyjdzie do ciebie dziś wieczorem" / "Casting. See who will come to you this evening" by Andrzej Maria Marczewski, Test Theatre Studio (Mental Theatre branch), Warsaw, premiere on the 31st of January 2004;
- 2004 - "Ja, Małgorzata" / "I, Margaret" by Mikhail Bulgakov, (screenplay as well), International Bulgakow Festival in Kiev, premiere;
- 2005 - "Sklepy cynamonowe" / "The Cinnamon Shops" written by Bruno Schulz, (adaptation as well), Płock, premiere on the 27th of February 2005;
- 2007 - "Zabawy na podwórku" written by Edna Mazy, The New Theatre, Łódź, premiere;
- 2008 - "Teatr Brunona Schulza" / "The Bruno Schulz Theatre" based on the prose by Bruno Schulz, (screenplay as well), Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw, premiere on the 27th of May 2008 (during the Third Internatinal Bruno Schulz Festival in Drohobych);
- 2009 - "Witkacy: jest 20 do X-tej" based on texts written by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, (screenplay as well), Słupsk, premiere on the 18th of September 2009.
- 1977-1981 - The Jerzy Szaniawsk Dramatic Theatre, in Wałbrzych;
- 1981-1983 - The Jerzy Szaniawsk Dramatic Theatre, in Płock;
- 1982- 1985 - The Rozmaitości Theatre, in Warsaw;
- 1986- 1988 - The Baltic Dramatic Theatre, Koszalin;
- 1988- 1994 - The Polish Theatre, Bydgoszcz;
- 1994- Present - Test Theatre Studio, Warsaw.
- 1979 - Wałbrzych, First National Children's Arts Festival - the governor of Wałbrzych award for the creative search of repertoires in children's literature;
- 1979 - The city of Wałbrzych Prize;
- 1979 - Distinguished citizen of the city of Wałbrzych;
- 1980 - Distinction granted by the weekly magazine called "Przyjaźń" / "Friendship" for directing ‘The Master and Margarita" written by Mikhail Bulgakov in the Dramatic Theatre named after Jerzy Szaniawski in Wałbrzych;
- 1981 - Walbrzych, 2nd National Children's Arts Festival award for the creative search of repertoires in children and adolescent contemporary Polish literature as well as a fine arts distinction for stage movement in the presentation of "Synek" / "My Son" written by Maciej Wojtyszko;
- 1981 - Silver Cross of Merit;
- 1992 - Governor Award in Bydgoszcz;
- 1994 - Governor of Bydgoszcz congratulatory letter;
- 1994 - The Mayor of Bydgoszcz Award;
- 2000 - The Silver Mask granted by the Society of Friends of the Theatre in the city of Płock for writing the screenplay and directing the spectacle called "Ferdydurke" written by Witold Gombrowicz at the Dramatic Theatre named after Szaniawski in Płock;
- 2006 - The Mayor of Łódź award on the occasion of the International Theatre Day.
The director's website: www.marczewski.pl