Marta Górnicka’s third production is a continuation of her project for a modern tragic CHORUS that serves as a means of critical reflection upon man as shaped by the norms of culture, society, the economy and religion. This time, the voice of the CHORUS is directed against the universal domination of market forces. It is the body/voice of a society torn between the fear of unemployment and the excessive demands of the workplace. A choir takes the stage to perform an ecstatic requiem for a system in which freedom has been transformed into the technology of power. The libretto makes use of poems by Władysław Broniewski, fragments of speeches, letters, and children’s counting-out rhymes, which the CHORUS intersperses with philosophical discourse, advertising slogans, Socialist Realist songs, and heavy metal music.
“I am the burnt offering of every system”, Broniewski wrote, highlighting the dramatic tension between the crushing pressure of ideology and his belief in the power of the poetic word that was to revolutionize the world and save human subjectivity. Today, these texts, transposed onto the choral apparatus of collective body and voice, are truly striking. Revolutionary poems from the 1930s sound like a corporate anthem extolling performance in the workplace.
REQUIEMASZYNA is an essay about the relationship of money and power. It was originally inspired by the robotic rhythms of Broniewski’s poetry and his harrowing biography, which I mashed up with Benetton’s Unemployee of the Year advertising campaign, the Imperial March from Star Wars, and the rasp of the poet’s cancer-stricken voice. I wanted to expose the totalitarianism of contemporary strategies of supervision and discipline: mechanisms that transform residents of the neo-liberal paradise into an army of robotic workers.
libretto based on texts by Władysław Broniewski
concept, libretto, direction: Marta Górnicka
musical score: IEN
choreography: Anna Godowska
literary advisor: Agata Adamiecka
set design: Robert Rumas
costumes: Arek Ślesiński
light design: Tomasz Sierotko
stage management: Marek Susdorf
cast: Antoni Beksiak, Justyna Chaberek, Bartosz Dermont, Maciej Dużyński, Michał Głowacki, Anna Jagłowska, Borys Jaźnicki, Katarzyna Jaźnicka, Ewa Konstanciak, Adam Konowalski, Wiesław Kowalski, Grzegorz Kuraszkiewicz, Janusz Leśniewski, Kamila Michalska, Mateusz Michnikowski, Grzegorz Milczarczyk, Magda Roma Przybylska, Natalia Samojlik, Anna Rączkowska, Daniel Szczypa, Kaja Stępkowska, Dawid Wawryka, Anna Wodzyńska, Łukasz Wójcicki, Marcin Zarzeczny, Magdalena Woźniak
duration: 50 minutes (no intermission)
producer: Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Warsaw
co-producers: La Filature – Scène Nationale, Mulhouse, Le Maillon – Théâtre de Strasbourg, Ringlokschuppen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Théâtre National de Strasbourg
polish pre-premiere: 24.03.2013 Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego
french premiere: 22.05.2013 La Filature – Scène Nationale, Mulhouse
german premiere: 14.06.2013 Ringlokschuppen, Mülheim an der Ruhr
The producers would like to thank Maria Pijanowska-Broniewska and Ewa Zawistowska for granting the performance rights to texts by Władysław Broniewski.