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Winter Ceremonies (Zimowe ceremonie)

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Hanoch Levin “Winter Ceremonies. Burlesque in eight scenes”
Translated by: Agnieszka Olek
Direction, set: Iwona Kempa
Set and costumes: Anna Sekuła
Music and musical arrangement: Bartosz Chajdecki
Premiere: September 11, 2010
Levin once again!

“Winter Ceremonies” – is my second after “Suitcae Packers” realization of the play by Hanoch Levin. The play “Suitcase Packers” was called by Levin the “comedy with eight funerals” and “Winter ceremonies” in the original bear the title “Winter funeral, burlesque in eight scenes.” This combination – funeral and burlesque – announces what is very distinctive of Levin. The mixture of laughter and tears, fear and almost cabaret jokes, physiology and lofty dreams. Levin talks about the death and our fear of it using the language of absurd, almost surreal antics. This is something that in our culture and mentality can still arouse surprise and anxiety. In order not to scare you, we decided, with the consent of the interpreter, to change the title “funeral” into “ceremonies”. This play is actually about two ceremonies, which nohow can be reconciled – a wedding and a funeral – one day, in one family.

A wedding is the beginning of a new life, the announcement of happiness and birth, the promise of fulfillment, while a funeral is the last goodbye, despair over the loss, mourning and the fear of death growing in the hearts.

What first? – ask Levin’s characters. Those who by all means fight for the primacy of the wedding before the funeral, begin a mad escape before the information about death. Not to know abything, not to hear anything, escape from death as far as possible, saving the wedding means saving lives, own longings, dreams, belief in immortality. To deny death, deceive it, cheat, outwit. Pretend it does not exist. You can run, fly, hide, even on the roof of the world (Levin’s characters fly like birds and land in the Himalayas). It won’t help – death can not be fooled. However, Levin manages, with an extraordinary sense of humor, to tame our fear of it. Disarm it with laughter. I recommend you the Levin’s play in my performance, where we faced the extraordinary imagination of the author and with him we flew in the Himalayas on 250 pillows.

Iwona Kempa – director

Starring: Aleksandra Bednarz, Karina Krzywicka (guest), Ewa Pietras, Matylda Podfilipska, Mirosława Sobik, Jolanta Teska, Jarosław Felczykowski, Łukasz Ignasiński, Paweł Kowalski, Sławomir Maciejewski (guest), Tomasz Mycan, Niko Niakas, Paweł Tchórzelski, Michał Marek Ubysz, Arkadiusz Walesiak.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes (without a break)

“Zimowe ceremonie” to piękna metafora walki życia ze śmiercią, zabawna i wzruszająca. (…) Całą resztę surrealistycznej chwilami historii wspaniale przedstawiają swą grą aktorzy, z których szczególnie zachwyca Jolanta Teska jako Szracja, matka panny młodej, arcyzabawna a przecież tragiczna, najzagorzalsza “rzecznika wyższości ślubu nad pogrzebem”. Czyli wyższości życia nad śmiercią… (Mirosława Kruczkiewicz, “Nowości”, 17.09.2010)

Translated by: Agnieszka Olek
Direction, set: Iwona Kempa
Set and costumes: Anna Sekuła
Music and musical arrangement: Bartosz Chajdecki

Ticket prices: normal – 25 PLN, reduced – 18 PLN, school – 16 PLN