One long summer day, the Tyrone family has to confront a difficult truth, hidden for years. As the day turns into night, a family inferno of mutual resentment and accusations grows between father, mother and two adult sons. As in a Greek tragedy, over the course of several hours, the protagonists will face their own past, the lies about themselves and their sense of guilt. Will the truth about themselves set them free?
“Long Day’s Journey into Night”, an 1941 autobiographical play by American drama classic Eugene O’Neill, is a study of the downfall of a family that is destroyed by addiction and lies. A study so realistic that the author banned its publication during his lifetime out of concern for the memory of the loved ones on whom the characters are modelled. The play was not staged until 1956, three years after his death. It became an immediate event and O’Neill was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for it.
“Once Upon a Long Day”, directed by the renowned Belgian director Luk Perceval, is the director’s adaptation of O’Neill’s drama, interpreted through the prism of contemporary addiction issues. Western societies are no longer only addicted to alcohol and drugs, as in O’Neill’s time, but also to social media, computer games, pornography, work, shopping. The stimulants change, but the mechanism of addiction remains the same. What void do addicts try to fill within themselves? What makes them escape from reality into a world of illusion? Why do they avoid the pain that life brings, and how can they confront this pain?
“A Long Day’s Journey into Night” is different from Perceval’s other plays to date. I know of no production that has been so radically stripped of its staging apparatus, utterly focused on the phenomenal artists of the Stary Theatre. Roman Gancarczyk is shattering, Małgorzata Zawadzka plays a part that will be unmatched for seasons to come, reaching new heights of presence on stage. Without a love for the actors and a need to delve as deep into them as possible, a play like this would be impossible.
The play “Long Day’s Journey into Night” is being staged by special arrangement with the United Talent Agency. This version of the play has been altered from the original publication by Eugene O’Neill.
The play is under the patronage of Onet.