Warsaw and Kraków host a festival to celebrate Sławomir Mrożek's 80th birthday and the publication of the first volume of his diaries. The event features a programme of meetings with the author, lectures, performances, competitions and even a tango marathon on Kraków main square...
turned 80 this past June. When leaving Kraków for Nice two years ago, Mrożek promised to visit the city of the Wawel Royal Castle from time to time. The playwright has kept his word. Mrożek will celebrate his birthday in Poland. Warsaw and Kraków host the "Mrożek for 21st Century" Festival. Wydawnictwo Literackie
will publish the first volume of the writer's Dziennik / Diary.
Mrożek's Diary is a record of events that occurred in the artist's life between 1962 and 1989. It was written over a span of several dozen years, in over thirty cities, in several countries and on three continents. The manuscript consists of more than three thousand pages, while the typescript of almost eight hundred. In 2010, the first volume will be published and subsequent books will appear in the following years.
Wydawnictwo Literackie promises that the volume will reveal a side of Mrożek that was previously inaccessible to his fans. There is also quite a lot of detail on Mrożek's personal world-view, as shown in the following fragment about a particular lady:
"The sight of one lady I saw three years ago in a cabaret wearing net tights, dancing and singing on the stage, did not move me that much yesterday. Firstly, she had unfortunately grown older. But what about legs? Legs do not grow old so easily. Secondly, she was wearing a different outfit. All in all, this lady's legs are not that long, though she is tiny and slim, quite proportional. So was it the outfit? Well, what is most probable I have grown out of being naughty. Just like a grazing animal which avoids that which could upset its stomach". (March 25, 1963)
The Festival aims to promote and encourage a fresh reading of the works of one of the most important Polish playwrights of the 20th century. Sławomir Mrożek's works have shaped viewpoint on theatre of a few generations of Poles. Today, in the 21st century, Mrożek's plays are still discussed and reinterpreted. The more so, since recent publications (correspondence between Mrożek and Adam Tarn, Jan Błoński, Wojciech Skalmowski) provide more information regarding Mrożek's writings. The publication of the first volume of Diary by Sławomir Mrożek has already been deemed as the most important event of the Festival.
Warsaw will host the first two days of the event and Kraków the remaining two. On September 23, outside of the official program of the Festival, Sławomir Mrożek will participate in a closed-circle meeting organized on the occasion of his 80th birthday and the publication of the first volume of his Diary in the Theatrical Institute in Warsaw.
During the Festival, professors of the State Theatre Academy
in Kraków will present the recently rediscovered one-act play by Mrożek entitled Jeleń / Deer under the artistic supervision of Jerzy Stuhr
. A performance of "Great Tango" will take place on Sunday, September 26, on the Main Square where Kraków residents will dance the tango for the playwright from noon onwards. Well-known satirists will perform on a stage installed next to St. Adalbert Church, then tango masters will give a tango lesson to the gathered audience, which will include Mrożek himself.
"We have not planned any official speech by the artist. We simply would like Sławomir Mrożek to celebrate with us", said Iwona Haberny, promotional director at the publishing house.
Highlights of the Festival:
September 23, 2010 - Warsaw
- 19:00 - Teatr Współczesny / Contemporary Theatre, 13 Mokotowska Street
"Mrożek - Czytanie" / "Mrożek - Reading" - performed by the Contemporary Theatre company
September 24, 2010 - Warsaw
- 12:00 - The Library of Warsaw University, 56/66 Dobra Street
Opening of the "Sławomir Mrożek" exhibition
September 25, 2010 - Kraków
September 26, 2010 - Kraków
- 12.00 - Main Square, stage next to St. Adalbert Church
"Great Tango for Mrożek"
With the participation of: Juliusz Chrząstowski, Andrzej Kozak and Tomasz Olbratowski, cabaret performers and dancers from the Tango School in Kraków
- 13:00 - Empik Megastore, 5 Main Square
Sławomir Mrożek signs editions of his Dziennik / Diary
Apart from the major events of the Festival, four national competitions and workshops have been set up. The competitions include: theatrical competition for high school and college students - the competition finale is hosted at the Classical Stage of the State Higher School of Theatre on September 24 at 10:00. There is also a school contest for the caricature or cartoon inspired by Sławomir Mrożek's works, a "Mrożek in the classroom" teachers' competition for a lesson plan devoted to the playwright and "My school adventures with Mrożek" teachers' competition. Workshops include a conference for Polish language teachers and librarians regarding new methods of discussing Sławomir Mrożek's works at school. The conference is hosted by Wydawnictwo Literackie on October 6, 2010.
Source: www.slawomirmrozek.pl, www.ksiazka.net.pl, czytelnia.onet.pl