…he left before he found out that none of what a person decides and consciously carries out meant anything, that everything important happens by itself, staying somewhere there behind, trailing after us. (Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, The Maidens of Wilko)
Visiting Wilko after fifteen years, Wiktor rifles through his memories and attempts to reconstruct his own self. Meeting women from his past makes him face the emptiness and vanity of his own existence, the wartime experience has robbed him of his capacity to feel. But in this play, the eponymous maidens – the sisters from Wilko – are not just a specter of femininity and a projection of the protagonist, they acquire their own voices and identities. Agnieszka Glińska and Marta Konarzewska consciously appropriate Iwaszkiewicz’s narrative and give the floor to the female characters in the story. We see Wiktor through their eyes, and we also find out how the passing of time has altered them. Where does life begin and end? When do we decide about ourselves? What are personal freedom and our life-altering decisions? Agnieszka Glińska’s play weaves Iwaszkiewicz’s story into these questions in our day.
Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz might have been taken off guard by this adaptation of his beautiful novel at the Stary Theater in Krakow. But this remains speculation. We can be sure that The Maidens of Wilko, directed by Agnieszka Glińska is a very interesting interpretation of his prose, and an excellent play.
Wojciech Majcherek, onet.pl