Issue 11/2020 (768)



Malina Prześluga

A monologue by a mentally retarded man, a forty-year-old with the mind of a five-year-old, interspersed with imaginary scenes from Ashdown Forest. The main character, modeled on Winnie-the-Pooh, is not wise, but unlike the famous teddy bear, he is neither kindly nor likeable.  On the contrary, the harm he has suffered evokes his anger and a desire to retaliate. The play poses questions about the right to emotions “beyond censorship” and exposes the falsehood often inscribed in declarations of tolerance and the policy of equal opportunities. It also shows how rebellion is born out of exclusion, and totalitarian fantasies out of rebellion.

Ship on the Water

A play by an unknown author, written just before the outbreak of World War II and preserved in the Ringelblum Archive. Its action begins in Austria, 12 weeks after the Anschluss, and takes place from March 1938 to June 1939. It narrates the events aboard the Whirlwind, full of Jewish refugees, and at the international conference on refugees. The play clearly refers to specific events while consistently avoiding naming them precisely.

Hierarchy of Needs

Adel Darwish

The text, written by a Syrian actor who has lived in Sweden for several years, is an attempt to organize the ideas about the experiences of the Middle East war and the first steps of an emigrant in his new homeland. How the same dreams and hopes function in different realities - the chaos of armed conflict and relative stabilization. What in one reality seems necessary and what in another is just a luxury?

Essays, Studies 

A butterfly on the loop

Jacek Sieradzki

Malina Prześluga's plays for adults are an insistent challenge for theatres looking for material for an effective, spectacular and intelligent conversation with the audience. They say that the world is not what it seems, and even if it is, it may stop to be so from moment to moment. They draw truly dramatic, holistic visions and give the theatre an opportunity to activate these visions strongly and poignantly.

The migrants’ ship on the eve of the Holocaust 

Eleonora Bergmann, Piotr Laskowski

We have not come across any mention of the Ship on the Water, be it in sources, memoirs or in historical studies. All we have are two purple-covered notebooks. In early February 1943 they were placed among hundreds of other documents, in one of the two milk jugs, which survived under the rubble of the former Dov Ber Borochov school at 68 Nowolipki street, and were brought to light again in 1950. Departing from the text of the play and the accompanying notes, we will try to determine the time of its creation, the likely (though highly uncertain) name of the author, as well as the possible (though equally uncertain) path it traveled to find itself among the documents collected by the Oneg Shabbat group working under the direction of Emanuel Ringelblum.

Judaeorum naves

Małgorzata Leyko

The voyages of Jewish refugees in the twentieth century should be seen from two perspectives depending on their purpose: immigration to Palestine or fleeing anywhere. After Adolf Hitler came to power, after the adoption of the Nuremberg laws and the outbreak of World War II, voyages to Palestine became a mass phenomenon. This found expression in literature and theatre.

The centenary of the ‘Dybbuk’

Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska

Not only did The Dybbuk by Szymon An-ski usher in a whole new era in the history of Jewish theatre, but it also caused the “dybbukization” of Polish theatre, which has continued to this day, with short breaks. This drama hides many secrets and has a history as rich as the biography of its author.

Ester Rachel Kamińska is packing her bags

Joanna Krakowska

The autobiography of “the mother of Jewish theatre”, Ester Rachel Kamińska, which has just been published in Polish, reads like a novel of manners, historically and psychologically credited with the narrator's sense of humour, her distance to herself and a critical view of reality. Here we have a picture of the backwoods and difficulties with local authorities, poverty and humiliation, a bold story about one’s own youthful ignorance and a sober view of the later achievements.

Not only the ‘Passenger’

Justyna Kowalska-Leder

On the work of Zofia Posmysz in the context of the collection of her radio dramas Czy to jest temat? [Is this a hot topic?], which appeared together with an extensive introductory word by Anna R. Burzyńska as part of the Polish Drama. Reactivation research project implemented at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The volume makes the thematically and formally diverse radio work by Zofia Posmysz rise from obscurity. In a way, it frees Posmysz’s work from the circle of concentration camps issues, and at the same time allows us to see the seal imprinted by Auschwitz on the author’s sensitivity.

A sense of subjectivity

A conversation with Dorota Kowalkowska about how children’s theatre is being made today.

Ronia, or a summer trifle

Justyna Drath

Astrid Lindgren’s book Ronia, the Robber's Daughter was staged by Anna Ilczuk at the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw. The performance sticks to this story surprisingly faithfully. It does not give up neither realism nor conventionality, balancing perfectly between the two.

Wilkowski and us?

Joanna Żygowska

The dramatic work of Jan Wilkowski is perceived as puppet theatre par excellence, which in the introduction to the anthology Spowiedź w drewnie [Confession in Wood] was confirmed and justified by Halina Waszkiel, the author of the annotated selected works published as the twelfth volume of the Polish Drama. Reactivation series. It is not without reason that the introductory text is entitled Writing the Puppet Theatre and contains numerous arguments confirming the title thesis.


Tadeusz Nyczek, Marek Beylin


NOTES ON PLAYS: Mélody Mourey Les crapauds fous; Eustathia Mantzufa I Apolojia tis Marikiuri; Lola Blasco En amor y en la guerra; Michał Zdunik Uzdrowisko.