When translating “The Constant Prince”, I rolled around on the floor, I imagined that I was that king of Portugal who had given his life for his kingdom and was bearing the shackles of the Moors. I tore at my chest, swallowed ash swept on the floor… (Juliusz Słowacki on his 1843 translation of Calderon, a work unto itself).
Today, 180 years later, this sort of experience and protagonist—a fanatical man priding himself on his Catholic fanaticism—strikes us as rather peculiar. Yet this sacrifice, even of a life, for professed values (such as a homeland) is less so. In our time of war in Ukraine, when thousands of young people are giving their lives to defend freedom, when we all have recently been confronted with the question of what we would do if the war were to spread across Europe, when we, as a society, passed the test of accepting a wave of refugees with astonishing courage, the subject of fighting for our truth, fighting to the last breath, seems extremely urgent. It is tied to the question of what kind of world we would like to build: one based on war and conflict, on an eternal struggle for our own (religious or state) interests, or a world based on love and mutual respect.
Our Prince has undergone a radical individuation (he’s had 180 years to do so). From entanglement in the war/combat/hatred/the ego to a denial of violence (following the Hindu principle of Ahimsa, or “nonviolence”), a struggle waged peacefully, even a submission to fate, which demands the sacrifice of a life for the idea of love. As such, he is a contemporary Jesus (“not the Christ”) who, to be true to his philosophy, must reject all social, religious, and systemic structures. This approach seems paradoxically possible and universal today. Perhaps this is what “constancy” means now.
Małgorzata Warsicka, Jarosław Murawski
(…) the duo of Małgorzata Warsicka (who handled the directing) and Jarosław Murawski (the dramaturgy and script) serve up an incredible play that fascinates in how it interprets a well-worn drama, but is also fantastic on a sensory level—we are totally compelled by the scenography, the music, and the whole soundscape (…). I could stare myself blind at the visual beauty alone, I could listen to the music until I went deaf. It has been a very long time since I saw theatre that took the old, tried and tested ingredients and built such an intense spectacle out of them.
Kamil Pycia, e-teatr.pl