The Kings of Poland

The Kings of Poland

multimedia performance
Dir. Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Scena Kameralna
ul. Starowiślna 21




2 h 20 min
1 intermission

Krzysztof Garbaczewski’s “The Kings of Poland” is a multi-threaded multi-media tale of Poland’s complex past, as viewed through the prism of contemporary debates and disputes over both the history of Poland and the concept of ‘Polishness’. The totality of the simultaneous, oneiric form of the show often obscures actors’ actions from the audience’s view, with the only way for the latter to see the former being large screen broadcasting. Inevitably raising connotations with the Wawel basement and tombs, the screened theatre interior creates the home of Hans Frank (Krzysztof Zarzecki), whose mind weaves the narrative. With their self-referential nature, the recognizable theatrical signs – chairs from the first performance of Stanisław Wyspiański’s “Bolesław Śmiały”, and the piano from “Werter” directed by Michał Borczuch, unveil the play of endless repetitions as the principle of the theatrical machine. It is a machine that turns the theatrical stage into a myth replayed in the collective imagination over and over again. This vitality is embodied by a gigantic heart of Poland on stage.


Garbaczewski’s Wawel Walhalla is not dignified but ironic; it is kitsch and funny and yet strangely serious. How should we handle history that keeps manifesting its unpleasant face? How should we approach Polish kings? As models, monuments, corpses or ghosts? May it be that they just boil down to aliases, as was the case with Władysław Warneńczyk (…)?

Joanna Targoń, “Gazeta Wyborcza Kraków”



** Dual role


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The Kings of Poland - video