-I think that Polish theatre deeply analyses reality. Your artists want to get right to the essence of things. This is certainly the case with Krystian Lupa. We have no one like him in France. Long, laboratory-like work on every performance allows him to look at a problem from all sides. He is bold, honest, mystical, even idealistic. I like the fact that his performances are not too intellectual.  Camille Protar, director, France / Teatralny.pl Photograph by Natalia Kabanow, The Woodcutters

-I think that Polish theatre deeply analyses reality. Your artists want to get right to the essence of things. This is certainly the case with Krystian Lupa. We have no one like him in France. Long, laboratory-like work on every performance allows him to look at a problem from all sides. He is bold, honest, mystical, even idealistic. I like the fact that his performances are not too intellectual. Camille Protar, director, France / Teatralny.pl Photograph by Natalia Kabanow, The Woodcutters

-It’s tough to create something abstract - and get an audience - unless you’re making dance or opera [in UK] . What in Poland is considered traditional or classical over in the UK would be classed as risky. Luckily, the situation in the UK is slowly changing and audiences are willing to accept that going to the theatre could also be a challenge as well as entertainment. But I still think that yours is one of the best theatres in the world. Sasha Milavić Davies, director/ UK

-It’s tough to create something abstract - and get an audience - unless you’re making dance or opera [in UK] . What in Poland is considered traditional or classical over in the UK would be classed as risky. Luckily, the situation in the UK is slowly changing and audiences are willing to accept that going to the theatre could also be a challenge as well as entertainment. But I still think that yours is one of the best theatres in the world. Sasha Milavić Davies, director/ UK

-Polish theatre is so different from theatre in the UK. It feels like the Polish creation process begins with an interrogation of form: a reflection on which form could best fit the feeling, the emotion of the story or the theme. Then comes a strong visual dramaturgy. Symbols, metaphors, rituals, religion are important to Polish theatre whereas in the UK, we are less visual and much more linear when it comes to narrative. Sasha Milavić Davies, director/ UK

-Polish theatre is so different from theatre in the UK. It feels like the Polish creation process begins with an interrogation of form: a reflection on which form could best fit the feeling, the emotion of the story or the theme. Then comes a strong visual dramaturgy. Symbols, metaphors, rituals, religion are important to Polish theatre whereas in the UK, we are less visual and much more linear when it comes to narrative. Sasha Milavić Davies, director/ UK

-Performances from other countries are like 18th-century satirical paintings: you can see what they depict but without the knowledge of their context they are completely incomprehensible.  Norman Armour, the Divine Comedy festival jury member, creator and art director of the international PuSh festival, Canada  Quoted in A Pinch of Pepper in Polish Theatre by Margarete Affenzeller, Der Standard, Vienna

-Performances from other countries are like 18th-century satirical paintings: you can see what they depict but without the knowledge of their context they are completely incomprehensible. Norman Armour, the Divine Comedy festival jury member, creator and art director of the international PuSh festival, Canada Quoted in A Pinch of Pepper in Polish Theatre by Margarete Affenzeller, Der Standard, Vienna

-Being unique is not always a good thing. Sometimes it can have a negative impact. It makes theatre hermetic. And what I miss here is a discussion on current social issues, the every day problems of ordinary Poles. Like people in so many other places in the world, you face a huge problem of poverty touching the victims of liberalism and capitalism.  Tanja Miletić Oručević, director, artistic director of Mostar Youth Theatre, Bosnia

-Being unique is not always a good thing. Sometimes it can have a negative impact. It makes theatre hermetic. And what I miss here is a discussion on current social issues, the every day problems of ordinary Poles. Like people in so many other places in the world, you face a huge problem of poverty touching the victims of liberalism and capitalism. Tanja Miletić Oručević, director, artistic director of Mostar Youth Theatre, Bosnia

-To me, Polish theatre is very visual. Polish directors often refer to the two greatest Polish directors of experimental theatre – Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski. And even though Polish theatre is still text-based, they try to escape these limitations and move towards physicality and visual effects Deepan Sivaraman, director and stage designer, the Divine Comedy Festival jury member, India. Quoted in "Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye" /teatralny.pl photo from thehindu.com

-To me, Polish theatre is very visual. Polish directors often refer to the two greatest Polish directors of experimental theatre – Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski. And even though Polish theatre is still text-based, they try to escape these limitations and move towards physicality and visual effects Deepan Sivaraman, director and stage designer, the Divine Comedy Festival jury member, India. Quoted in "Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye" /teatralny.pl photo from thehindu.com

Polish theatre is more politically involved. Politics resonates even in poetic drama, although it is not stated directly. In the US, the audience comes to the play in order to get away from reality. In Poland, by contrast, they want to learn something about the world that surrounds them. Monica Payne, director, USA quoted in Marcin Wasyluk, "Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye" /teatralny.pl

Polish theatre is more politically involved. Politics resonates even in poetic drama, although it is not stated directly. In the US, the audience comes to the play in order to get away from reality. In Poland, by contrast, they want to learn something about the world that surrounds them. Monica Payne, director, USA quoted in Marcin Wasyluk, "Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye" /teatralny.pl

-The great advantage of Polish theatre lies in the fact that your performances are usually much less straightforward than what I am used to watch in the US. Your theatre often has a dream-like quality. You can also brilliantly show the overlapping of times and spaces/ Monica Payne, director, USA  On her website, she declares that she "recently travelled to Poland to attend the Boska Komedia Festival in Krakov." Quoted in Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye / Teatralny.pl

-The great advantage of Polish theatre lies in the fact that your performances are usually much less straightforward than what I am used to watch in the US. Your theatre often has a dream-like quality. You can also brilliantly show the overlapping of times and spaces/ Monica Payne, director, USA On her website, she declares that she "recently travelled to Poland to attend the Boska Komedia Festival in Krakov." Quoted in Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye / Teatralny.pl

-Poles, just like the Irish, have a great talent for depressing people – in the funniest way possible. Though I understand that not everyone likes black humour. Polish artists do not indulge in easy jokes. All the more surprised I am that their performances actually sparkle with humour.  Peter Crawley, critic, the Divine Comedy Festival jury member, Ireland Quoted in Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye / Teatralny.pl

-Poles, just like the Irish, have a great talent for depressing people – in the funniest way possible. Though I understand that not everyone likes black humour. Polish artists do not indulge in easy jokes. All the more surprised I am that their performances actually sparkle with humour. Peter Crawley, critic, the Divine Comedy Festival jury member, Ireland Quoted in Polish Theatre and Foreign Eye / Teatralny.pl

-Polish theatre is very colourful [...] I would compare it to the German theatre but yours is more poetic. It is also more socially involved than ours, Lithuanian. You have more passion for commenting on current issues. At the same time, Polish theatre is very difficult to watch as it is very firmly rooted in a specifically Polish context. During this year’s [2014] Divine Comedy festival, I’ve realised how much you rely on text. This may pose a problem for foreign viewers.

-Polish theatre is very colourful [...] I would compare it to the German theatre but yours is more poetic. It is also more socially involved than ours, Lithuanian. You have more passion for commenting on current issues. At the same time, Polish theatre is very difficult to watch as it is very firmly rooted in a specifically Polish context. During this year’s [2014] Divine Comedy festival, I’ve realised how much you rely on text. This may pose a problem for foreign viewers.


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