Following its public and critical success in Poland and the Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand, Krzysztof Warlikowski's "Koniec" / "The End" arrives in Paris for its premiere in the capital.
Following its public and critical success in Poland and the Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand, Krzysztof Warlikowski's "Koniec" / "The End" arrives in Paris for its premiere in the capital. The French presentation of "La Fin" has been described by the press as yet another outstanding showing of the director's "laboratory of truth". Drawing upon Kafka, Coetzee and an unproduced film script by Bernard-Marie Koltès, the play examines the human curiosity for transgression and the burden of guilt
"Poland, the country that doesn't exist" as described by Father Ubu is defined as Warkilowski's land of predilection - according to Le Monde's Fabienne Darge. In an interview with the journalist, the director prefers the bold term of "cemetery country" to identify his homeland, stating that instead of repressing that uncomfortable yet still real idea, Polish people should embrace it as a spiritual legacy, and built upon its history with a capital H.
In putting together Koniec" / "La Fin" / "The End, Krzysztof Warlikowski chose to enter that empty yet haunted land, redesign and re-tell some universal tales and traumas, borrowing from a diverse store of sources. The construction of the play drew upon fragments of three different texts: Nickel Stuff, an unproduced film script by Bernard-Marie Koltès, along with Franz Kafka's novel The Trial and Elizabeth Costello by John Maxwell Coetzee. The protagonists of those three stories have one particular pursuit in common: they all reach a threshold they are unable to cross, getting a glimpse of the edge of their situation as they stand at the gates of law, life and death. They are all tempted to cross the line and explore the mystery on the other side, but instead they wonder hopelessly through a labyrinth with no exit. Warlikowski's takes up this heavy topic and gives it release through an intense theatrical treatment - bringing on his own end to the story in a performance that hovers between the real world and the imagination.
Nickel Stuff is the story of a boy who works in a supermarket and dances in a club at night. The decision to quit his job pushes him to commit a crime. While reading the text, Warlikowski discovered many parallels to Kafka's work and biography, also drawing upon Coetzee, who was inspired by The Trial in Elizabeth Costello.
The director says:
Coetzee puts his female protagonist in a Kafka-esque situation - he paints a new picture of the human at the gate, trying to get on the other side. In front of the gate stands a guard, who denies her entrance. Elisabeth Costello has to hand a declaration of faith to pass the gate. In this way, Cotzee confronts himself with the Kafka myth, inspired, in turn, by the Bible. Koltès' character, on the other hand, stands at the gate, at the edge of murder. In those texts, it is actually all about guilt.
The performance was produced with the participation of: Théâtre de l'Odéon in Paris, Théâtre de la Place in Liège, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand - Scène Nationale in Clermont-Ferrand, Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin. For more information on the event, see:www.lacomediedeclermont.com.
La Fin" / "Koniec" / "The End, based on Nickel Stuff by Bernard-Marie Koltès, The Trial and The Hunter Gracchus by Franz Kafka, and Elisabeth Costello by John Maxwell Coetzee. Adapted by Krzysztof Warlikowski, Piotr Gruszczyński, in collaboration with Wojciech Kalarus. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski. Stage design and costumes by Małgorzata Szczęśniak. Music by Paweł Mykietyn. Lights by Felice Ross. Choreography by Claude Bardouil. Video projections by Denis Guéguin. Cast: Stanisława Celińska, Magdalena Cielecka, Ewa Dałkowska, Wojciech Kalarus, Marek Kalita, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Maja Ostaszewska, Magdalena Popławska, Jacek Poniedziałek, Anna Radwan-Gancarczyk, Maciej Stuhr and others. Musicians: Paweł Bomert, Paweł Stankiewicz,Fabian Włodarek.
Shows at the Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris: February 4-6, 8-13, 2011. In Polish with French subtitles.
Performance originally staged at:
10/16 Madalińskiego Street, 02-513 Warsaw
Artistic Director: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Director (p.o.): Karolina Ochab
tel. (+48 22) 849 35 53
link*www.nowyteatr.org*http://www.nowyteatr.org****Sources: press materials, www.theatre-odeon, www.lemonde.fr