Issue 5/2019 (750)



On The Brave Pietrek And The Little Orphan Mary

Jolanta Janiczak 

The story of the love of the poet Maria Konopnicka and Maria Dulębianka, painter and social activist. Konopnicka gained popularity as a children's writer and a patriotic poet. Her portraits hung in schools, while her long-term relationship with a woman has become the subject of biographers' interest only recently. The play, funny, courageous and committed, talks about the conflict of passion and "duty", the problems with the coming-out and the need to legalize partnerships. It builds a political shortcut between the nineteenth century and today’s situation of women who love women.

War Child Mother

Tomasz Man

A simple, minimalist text for three people: a mother, a daughter and an abstract war that finishes off their lines and sacks destruction. On the literal level, the thing happens under fire, the protagonists wander around in search of a shelter and try to find the father. On the metaphorical level, the war goes on between them, it is a projection of their conflict and an unspecified conflict of the mother with the absent father. This ambiguity allows the audience to play with the text and interpret the layout in various ways, the ending being open.

The Cane

Mark Ravenhill

Edward, a teacher at a public school, retires. A group of colleagues intending to prepare a summary of his career stumble upon the information from thirty years ago: Edward, as the deputy director of the school, practiced corporal punishment, in accordance with the then regulations and didactic methods. When this information comes to light, the popular teacher quickly becomes the subject of criticism and even aggression. Ravenhill’s play is a story about the evolution of ethical norms and a double evaluation of past deeds: different among Edward's generation, different among the generation of his children and grandchildren.

Essays, Studies

Queer in Polish

Marcin Bogucki  

Queer as a theory and practice is not only related to the issue of sex or sexuality, but it also deals with non-normative manifestations on many levels: it raises the issue of history and memory, community and individuals, politics and ecology. Recently, these issues have been at the centre of Polish queer performances. They can be divided into two groups: the ones fitting into universal Western reflection and those requiring the recipient to know the local context.

The Capercaillie And The Innocent

Krzysztof Tomasik

The theatre in interwar Poland is not associated with sexual and gender non-normality, with committed plays that would bravely measure up with moral issues. It was the political situation and theatrical tradition, not to mention state censorship, that prevented playwrights from raising this type of subject-matter. So much in theory, because in practice it was fortunately much more interesting.

Homosexuals in Konrad Swinarski’s performances. A language problem?

Grzegorz Niziołek

It is difficult to say beyond any doubt whether the reception of two performances by Konrad Swinarski – Taste of Honey of 1959 in Teatr Wybrzeże and All’s Well That Ends Well of 1971 at the Stary Theatre – was something absolutely unique in the history of post-war Polish culture. There is no doubt, however, that it was unusual. In these two performances homosexual characters appear. This does not, however, indicate the uniqueness of these performances. It is rather the fact that the reviewers openly addressed the homosexual orientation of the stage characters.

„Judges” and „Curse” by Swinarski: There is no salvation

Stanisław Godlewski

Leonia Jabłonkówna’s review of Judges and Curse by Swinarski seemingly does not differ much from other texts, and yet this piece appears to be special and symptomatic. This text, similarly like the one published in 3/2019 Leonia Jabłonkówna. Painful place is a fragment of Master Thesis tutored by Ewa Guderian-Czaplińska, the Institute of Theatre and Media Arts at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Little stabilization. Czyżewska and Tyszkiewicz

Ewa Hevelke

Beata Tyszkiewicz, who submitted to reality, had a culture-creating power, and at the same time the right and social duty to grow old with her audience. Elżbieta Czyżewska had a mythological power  –  she was recorded on film, in reviews and in photographs as an object of aspirations and memories.

Caning, or the story of silencing the image

Justyna Drath

The fondness for the old school system, in which everything is arranged as it should, is of course unequivocal with one’s consent to violence. We live, however, in the times in which corporal punishment seems obviously inappropriate for two reasons: psychological – as it destroys the child’s psyche, and pragmatic – it is confirmed to be absolutely ineffective. Mark Ravenhill’s play The Cane addresses these issues in a non-obvious way.

Mark Ravenhill – themes inventory

Michał Lachman

Mark Ravenhill’s plays broke new theatrical ground of British theatre already in the 1990s. His writing for theatre has always possessed significant force to diagnose and dramatise most significant problems of contemporary world. In the new millennium, he has explored ways in which contemporary man gets dominated by virtual reality, he analysed varied responses to the war on terror, he investigated the concept of illness in modern culture and critically represented Europe as a continent dominated by capitalism and neoliberal economy. Such plays as The Productpool (no water)Shoot / Get Treasure / Repeat or The Cane help us see key aspects of contemporary reality.


Marek Beylin, Tadeusz Nyczek, Piotr Morawski, Tadeusz Bradecki


Contexts: Zofia Cielątkowska on the margin of the James Elkins’ book What Happened to Art Criticism?, (Prickly Paradigm Press, Chicago 2003) about art criticism and language politics. Notes on plays: Lejla Kalamujić Ljudožderka ili kako sam ubila svoju porodicu; pilgrim/majewski teraz każdy z was jest rzeczpospolitą; Lutz Hübner, Sarah Nemitz Ghetto Deluxe – Projekt Stadt X. Playbill