An astonishing idea – Stanisław Radwan brings figures from Andrzej Mleczko’s drawings to the stage; the composer wrote music to a libretto assembled from texts in the “speech bubbles” of the comic characters… This original “opera” was directed by a man famous for mocking our national vices – Mikołaj Grabowski. A quartet of comic performers virtuosically fill this world, drawing the viewer into this “comic-book” reality: “The performers play dynamically, spontaneously, frivolously, and comedically, like a troupe of clowns; they erase the barrier between stage and audience, flirting boldly with one another and the viewers; they laugh at themselves and at us,” Justyna Małczak wrote. “The actors blend into Barbara Hanicka’s simple, spare, milky set design – as if the action were taking place everywhere and nowhere all at once. This minimalism, or even asceticism of the play’s set reinforces the significance and wit of the text.”
The actors of the Stary Theater clown around and moralize all at once. The frankness and subversiveness Grabowski has urged upon them quarrels with the theatrical image they have had, gives them some ironic distance, the chance to play on convention, to try out acting inspired by the grimaces and poses of the characters in the drawings. Ewa Kaim turns into a frog, Jakub Przebindowski kicks a stuffed cat, Zbigniew Kaleta flirts with women in alcoholic convulsions for five minutes, Anna Radwan picks out an audience member and suggests having a quickie backstage. The actors of Milk Opera know how to laugh at themselves, and they do some phenomenal work, even in singing Radwan’s most challenging segments.
Łukasz Drewniak, Tygodnik Powszechny