“The Magnetism of Hearts” is a fun park whose workers perform Aleksander Fredro’s “Maiden Vows” daily. A happy and colourful world full of laughter and a host of attractions. There are characters we know from the drama: mopey Albin, scatterbrained Gustaw, exuberant Klara and frail Aniela. The spiritus movens of the whole project is Radost, a friend and confidant of the other protagonists. During the five-hundredth performance something odd starts to happen. A protagonist no one expected appears. Could the plot have taken a new turn? Will Aniela and Klara keep their vows this time, and maybe we’ll see a classic happy end?
“The Magnetism of Hearts,” based on “Maiden Vows,” one of Aleksander Fredro’s most famed and frequently performed works, and directed by Kalina Jagoda Dębska, is a tale of games and little lies people think up to keep from exposing their feelings. It is also a story of various ways of experiencing love, whether it’s the first or another time around. Of fear of intimacy and pressure to be in a relationship. The creators of the play ask how we might read “Maiden Vows” in the times and context of bell hooks and Mona Chollet. Fredro’s work is fused with the elements of a musical, as well as experimental instruments, which serve to round out the world of the play. The plot, meanwhile, remains a story of reworking the cultural cliches that inhibit true understanding.
Apart from “Maiden Vows” the play incorporates fragments of other works by Aleksander Fredro:
- “To Like and to Love”
- “To ***”
and fragments of writing by the director.