An adaptation of the best-seeling book by Antoni Libera, Madame is brought the theatre by Czech director Jakub Krufta and adapted by Maria Wojtyszko. With young audiences in mind, the play recreates the awakening of first love, the traditional horror of high school classes, the bluster and rebelliousness of youth, and the gradual discovery of a vocation
Scene from "Madame", photo: Krzysztof Bieliński / Teatr Na Woli
Maturing, love and rebellion against mediocrity, based on Antoni Libera's best selling book "Madame", the play Madame is a mixture of fascinating love story, comic political performance and social satire
Set in the late sixties, the main character of the play is a high school student, who falls in love with his French teacher. He is well-read in French literature, which enables him to establish a rapport with the tutor. He wants to get closer to the woman, therefore he decides to learn as much as possible about her. The knowledge he will obtain will influence his life and the decisions he will make in the future.
According to the play's director Jakub Krofta, Madame is of particular value to high school youth. He explains,
Many people involved with theatre think that performing for teenagers is a form of suicide, because adolescents aren’t usually interested in theatre. However my experiences are different. I’ve been directing spectacles for young people in various countries for a few years. I think that such an audience is very sensitive, spontaneous and demanding. Teenagers search for plays, which they can relate to. Madame is also a story for viewers, who were young in the sixties and want to return to those days. In the spectacle we recreate the realities of that period. We have prepared special costumes and gathered authentic photographs. There will also be live music in the style of the times. That decade was full of sensations, tensions and adventures.
Antoni Libera’s Madame is one of the most popular books of the last decade. It was printed in over one hundred thousand copies and was translated into twenty languages. It won the Andrzej Kijowski Prize and in 2002 reached the final stage of selection of the Irish IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which is given on the basis of recommendations made by librarians from major public libraries from across the world. Michael Dirda states in his Washington Post review,
With disarming nonchalance, Madame deliciously recreates the awakening of first love, the traditional horror of high school classes, the bluster and rebelliousness of youth, and the gradual discovery of a vocation. Imagine “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” with a far more likeable protagonist and a dazzlingly sexy and elusive heroine. In short, this is an exceptionally entertaining book
The premiere of the Madame opens the 5th Summer Showcase of the Drama Laboratory. The 5th Summer Showcase of the Drama Laboratory will take place on two scenes – in the Theatre in Wola and on the Przodownik Scene. The program consists of fifteen spectacles including plays, which premiered this season and Magdalena Fertacz’s Absinth directed by Aldona Figura. The festival will also feature a performance by the Cabaret of the End of the World and readings by actors.
The play was adapted by Maria Wojtyszko.
Festival programme: www.labodram.pl