Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski present a world in disintegration, in which “nothing works,” in order to strike at Poland’s nethermost taboos. The creators of this play about the famous battle of 1920 – known as the “Miracle on the Vistula” – have approached our Polish mythologized narrative from a fairly unconventional perspective. On stage we have Józef Piłsudski, Felix Dzierżyński, Władysław Broniewski, Rosa Luxemburg, Wincenty Witos, and Maxime Weygand, and alongside them, the “ordinary” folk: a peasant, an actress, legionnaires. “This mixture of historical figures and anonymous third-string protagonists is significant: Demirski/Strzępka’s anti-history is told from the grass roots, created in part by those whom capital-H History has deprived of a voice,” wrote Marcin Kościelniak. Demirski and Strzępka ask some major questions about the personal motivations behind the actions of those who created history, and the impact of History on the fates of the common people. They seek to neither evaluate nor compromise their protagonists, but rather to see them in “actual size.” Subversive and effective, this brilliantly performed play was singled out by Gwarancje Kultury and for acting awards at several theater festivals.
Why did we defend Europe against Bolshevism, just so that Ms Thatcher could take root in our minds? Who engineered this independence, in whose name, for whose benefit, and over whose dead body? To show this ubiquitous and galloping absence, the machinery of the play has to be like clockwork: Michał Korchowiec’s set design, Jan Suświłło’s music, Cezary Tomaszewski’s discreet choreography, and the miracles worked by the actors – all this together overturns the Kossak/Hoffman-style pathos and kitsch that lards our imaginations when it comes to the Battle of Warsaw, an event which altered the fate of Europe.
Joanna Wichowska, dwutygodnik.com.