With Polish and Dutch actors, and in a unique setting, the play Lost In The Greenhouse takes a closer look at the story of Polish emigrants in the Netherlands.
In 2018, Leeuwarden is the European Capital of Culture. Especially for the occasion De Lawei Theatre and Orkater have prepared a performance which reflects the distinctiveness of this Polish-Frisian place – Lost In The Greenhouse.
By day, many of Friesland’s horticultural greenhouses are staffed by young Polish workers, who have travelled thousands of miles from home, family and friends in search of a brighter future. As part of Leeuwarden 2018, by night, these same greenhouses become the stage for a cross-cultural, site-specific theatre production exploring the real-life experiences and challenges of new minorities created by economic depression and migration.
The tragic events of this intriguing love story, which refers to the story of Romeo and Juliet, take place in a community of Polish and Friesian vegetable pickers. It is a contemporary story of integration and identity, performed in the huge greenhouse, surrounded by fresh growing tomatoes. It is performed by both professional actors and amateurs, and music and dance are a key part of the play.
Lost In The Greenhouse explores the experiences, and challenges of labour immigrants. For example, many young Poles found work in greenhouses scattered in Friesland. They are welcomed by many employers because of their high work ethic. How do they experience their way of living, away from their families and friends? Do they stay perennial outsiders or are they accepted and welcomed in the community? At the heart of it, it is a play about the situation of Polish workers in Friesland.
For the director, Titus Groenestege, the inspiration was a tragic story of a Polish émigré described in the Dutch press. Both Dutch and Polish artists are involved in the production, including actorsRedbad Klijnstra, Emilia Komarnicka and co-author of music by Radek Fedyk, who will introduce elements of Polish folklore. The Dutch and Polish organisers are working together to create a cross-cultural experience, which will also eventually be performed in Poland.
The premiere of Lost In The Greenhouse will take place on 13th April 2018. 30 performances are planned.
The performance is produced by the Greenhouse Foundation, an organisation which combines the De Lawei Theatre and the Orkater, an award-winning musical theatre from Amsterdam.
The event is co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl.
Source: press materials, compiled by the Culture.pl team, translated by NR, Apr 2018