Following showings in the capitals of Germany and Ukraine, TheArt, the Belarussian International Theatre Festival in Minsk hosted two performances of the play. The out-door production is a parable: an apocalyptic vision of the world and a metaphor of a disintegrating society, in which empathy and tolerance have been lost
Scene from "The Blind", photo courtesy of www.fotogalicja.pl
Following showings in the capitals of Germany and Ukraine, THEART, an international theatre festival in Minsk hosted two performances of the play by Teatr KTO. The out-door production is a parable: an apocalyptic vision of the world and a metaphor of a disintegrating society, in which empathy and tolerance have been lost
A pessimistic image of a civilisation of consumers is evoked by this portrait of inter-human relations. The aim of the project is to introduce the rich output of Polish theatre to audiences in neighbouring countries. A particular emphasis is placed on its street and outdoor setting, as artistic activity in the outdoors and public space is now on the rise in Eastern European countries.
The script of this outdoor performance is inspired by the best-selling novel "Blindness" by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago.
What one day seems fiction may well become reality the next day. In the story, people are loosing their eye-sight in unexplained circumstances. The epidemic spreads so fast that people are helpless. Panic arises, turning an apparently orderly world into chaos. Authorities urgently seclude the first group of blind people in a mental asylum. The outcast community begins establishing their own rules. Some become oppressors and some victims, a division into superiors and subordinates is apparent. And only one person is aware that in fact not everyone is blind...
The Blind is a shocking study of the human condition.
Following its premiere in June 2010, the show has been presented in many cities in Poland as well as Belarus, Ukraine and Portugal.
(...) The KTO Theatre delighted me. Director Jerzy Zoń presented his vision of a totalitarian world. I recommend this production to everyone. You will see more than you expect.
Joanna Weryńska, Polska Gazeta Krakowska
(...) Jerzy Zoń was inspired by Jose Saramago's novel "Blindness", depicting a mysterious epidemic of that affected a city. The blind who are secluded in a hospital-like camp, soon create their own society based on violence and animal instincts. Zoń's show uses no words but there is a lot of music, movement and dance (...)
Joanna Targon, Gazeta Wyborcza
(...) They will be good to each other and they will bite one onother. They will create their god of whiteness and build for themselves a white hell. They will go on crusades. They will cause pain, repeat old gestures of tenderness, reach the bottoms of debauchery. Pure peace of the tale's first is quick to evaporate. After the first scream, Zoń just accelerates the rhythm. He constructs an overwhelming hour. Image after image – more and more madness appears within the square's space. The crackle of white beds keeps on growing, they turn into barricades, a wailing wall, the Stations of the Cross, or barred hollows in which the blind enjoy their moments of peace. Growingly powerful winds sweep dust from the ground. Growingly ruthless music makes heads burst. Right up until the end - when a woman in red stands on one of the beds with her hand in the air. She is looking (...). She seems to be checking whether or not the lost city will be returning to her from the whiteness. No? Yes? No. It is not coming back.
This is why (...) it is a must-see. Watch. Perceive. Perceive at all costs.
Paweł Głowacki, Dziennik Polski
KTO Theatre was founded by a group of graduates from Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Since 1985 the theatre has produced several street performances. Traditional stage experience together with street theatre experiments constituted the group's specific theatrical language. Meaning is expressed by the actor's body, voice, movement, music and only occasionally - a few words. The KTO is a theatre on the road. Its shows have been attended by over one and a half million people. Since 1 January 2005, the KTO have the status of a Kraków municipal theatre.
Archetypes conveyed and highly emotional character of the performances break all possible barriers between the group and the audience, with a similiar effect in little towns and large festival halls alike. KTO Theatre have presented their work all around the world: Sweden, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Costa Rica , Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, United State of America, Republic of Korea, France, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Iran and Romania.
Script, direction and selection of music: Jerzy Zoń
Set Design: Joanna Jaśko-Sroka
Costumes: Zofia De Ines, Joanna Jaśko-Sroka
Choreography: Eryk Makohon
Cast: Karolina Bondaronek, Anna Jaworska, Anna Kamykowska,
Danuta Kulesz-Różycka, Agata Słowicka, Grażyna Srebrny-Rosa,
Urszula Swałtek, Barbara Wysoczańska, Katarzyna Zawadzka, Marta Zoń, Bartosz Cieniawa, Michał Orzyłowski, Alan Pakosz, Szymon Pater, Adam Plewiński, Tomasz Urbański and Piotr Święs
Date: 22nd and 23rd of October, 2011
Venue: Palace of Sport, Minsk
Organised by: KTO Theatre
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.