Two boys, friends who are sentenced to one another in an undefined, enclosed space. The discomfort of their separation, amplified by the pressure of a threat felt from all sides, can only have an effect on the mental state of the protagonists. They mainly communicate through gestures and glances, and words, which have lost their original function, only return in songs, passing by like freeze-frames from a past life.
“The Square” is a grotesque tale of a relationship between friends with an incomprehensible war being waged in the background. A tale of two young people’s sense of being alienated from each other and the world, the impossibility of dialogue in a time when all the basic ways of communication are breaking down, because hope for rescue is dwindling with every passing moment. There is no returning to the reality from before the catastrophe, no chance to retreat to the time before we were shut up in the mental cage of THE SQUARE. Yet the protagonists persistently believe it is possible to change the reality that binds and touches them so deeply, they try to keep up appearances, their everyday rituals. These they arduously build from day to day, appealing to a shared past, to familiar patterns of behaviour, to the power of the relationships that bind them.
Music becomes the only way of expressing emotions and feelings, it protects the mind from total breakdown, connects the fragments of a shattered image of the world. It lets us forget that a secure shelter can involuntarily become a cell, and a person who was so close just yesterday can gradually become oppressive, incomprehensible, even a stranger.
Can music save us from ourselves?
What is the solution to the confrontations of war and young people?
What is the secret to finding your place in a world that repels us at every step? How to contend with increasing anxiety and hopelessness?
What happens to people in a place with no way out?
This story in cages tries to reinterpret words like “friendship” and “true responsibility” for another person. Words that are slowly sounding hollow in the mouths of the citizens of safe, free, and democratic countries. Maybe it’s time we remembered them?
THE PLAY’S NARRATIVE IS MADE OF SONGS BY Kult, Lao Che, Król, Nosowska, Manaam AND OTHER CONTEMPORARY POLISH ARTISTS.
The script for “The Square” was written in late 2019. Back then, we had no idea what was coming, how our reality would be reshaped, at what a dramatic historical turning point our world was at. How terribly the state structures of peace and stability would be shaken. We changed nothing in the original script.
There are two of them. One is firm, harsh, self-confident; the other more delicate, clumsy, a bit shy. Both are themselves, and you, and me. They are everyone and no one. They are sentenced to one another and are learning to talk to each other, to communicate; to live. We can feel the close bond between the actors, which only improves the quality of the performance; they play with form, gestures, and sound, they are witty and moving. On top of all that, they are great actors, of course, and enchanting vocalists, energetic and charismatic. […] Another asset of this production is the live music, making it authentic in every regard, as every part of it is built before the audience’s eyes.
Adriana Markowska, Dziennik Teatralny Kraków
The play won the OFF Audience Tukan prize at the 41st Thespian Song Retrospective in Wrocław (2021).