Ochota Theatre, WarsawThe Old Woman
In his last performance Igor Gorzkowski reaches for the works of one of the most intriguing group of artists of the first half of the 20 century, that is OBEIR. Its members referred to the poetics of Futurism, their style was abstract and filled with specific type of black humour, what made the critics consider them as precursors of European Theatre of the Absurd. In 1930 the group was disbanded, its members were persecuted, many died in prison. Analyzing the text of “The Old Lady”, the longest novel of one of the group’s founders, Daniil Kharms, and their manifesto as well as the biographies of some of its members, the director reconstructs their theatre. From under the grotesque and oneiric staffage we sense the fear of inevitable death and the signs of the tragic fate that awaits the founders of OBEIR. The novel, on which the performance is based, was written in 1939, two years before its author got arrested for “destructing people from building socialism by ridiculous poems.” In February 1942 Daniil Kharms died of hunger in prison in Leningrad. In the performance he is holding a clock. Even though the clock has no hands, we can still see what the time is. This situation opens a world of strange, absurd events, a world, where the boundary between life and death can be crossed both ways and everyday activities, like buying bread or drinking vodka, lead to some unexpected consequences.
Ochota Theatre was founded in 1970 by Jan and Halina Machulski. Some of the artists who made their debut here are: Małgorzata Bogdańska, Krzysztof Kiersznowski, Wojciech Malajkat, Tomasz Mędrzak, Edyta Olszówka, Cezary Pazura, Bożena Stryjkówna. The permanent team of actors was dissolved in 2010. Since October 15, 2010 the theatre has a new director, Joanna Nawrocka, who cooperates with Marta Wójcicka and Igor Gorzkowski from Studio Teatralne Koło, an independent theatre from Warsaw.