hobo art foundation, invitro pre-premiere stage, teatr polskiKomornicka. The Ostensible Biography
What do we know about Maria Komornicka, one of the most fascinating and, at the same time, most mysterious figures in Polish literature of the beginning of the 20th century? How to deal with the task of reconstructing her biography disrupted in the most decisive moment, when she decided to transcend her sex and take on a male name, Piotr Włast? The most difficult time in his life, however, was yet to come. After the war, rejected by his loved ones and his struggling to save its freedom Polish society, Piotr disappears. There is very little information about the years he spent in psychiatric hospitals and the times of World War II, when he was confined to his family home. There was no place for such stories back then. Taking the decision to change her name Komornicka rejected all values of the catholic Poland of the beginning of the 20th century.
The performance by Bartek Frąckowiak and Weronika Szczawińska is a fascinating attempt to tell the story from scraps of texts, memories and photographs. The authors of the performance conducted a real investigation looking for materials, and proved that is it in fact impossible to write a biography. Every such attempt ends in telling a story that is too personal and subjective. Its final version emerged from the social and historical context, the research conducted by the director and the playwright, their meetings, talks and, last but certainly not least, the way it is delivered to us by the outstanding Anita Sokołowska. Having been deprived of the powerful tool of emoting, the actress makes a heroic effort to reconstruct characters from the only bits and pieces of information, assumptions, points of view and impressions she could get. The result we get is one of the most interesting Polish theatre performance of the last season, which received an award for the best Polish contemporary performance and was awarded at the competition for best production of a contemporary Polish play.