22 October 2010 Gazeta Wyborcza and Polityka about Tadeusz Słobodzianek

Tadeusz Słobodzianek – the winner of this year’s Nike Literary Award and a guest of the upcoming Conrad Festival – is the hero of the articles published in the latest issues of the Polityka weekly (no. 43) and the Duży Format supplement to Gazeta Wyborcza. We invite you to read these articles!

Słobodzianek’s works have recently been widely commented upon both in the Polish and foreign press. In September last year, in the English National Theatre in London, an international premiere of the shocking Nasza klasa (Our Class) – a drama which brings up the subject of atrocities committed in Jedwabne during World War II – took place. The author was applauded as a playwright and a Pole who is not afraid to face up to the painful history of his country. Our Class translated by Ryan Craig was directed by Bijan Sheibani. It was the first drama of the Polish playwright that was staged in the English National Theatre.

The article Osoba dramatu (The Person Of The Drama) (Polityka no. 43) presents to us the exceptional theatrical career of Słobodzianek. We can read about his literary inspirations, beginnings of his career, collaboration with Piotr Tomaszuk, with whom he created the famous Wierszalin Theatre. Apart from that, the author (Aneta Kyzioł) draws our attention to numerous controversies aroused by the author of Prorok Ilja (Prophet Ilya): “Słobodzianek has never stayed for long anywhere in the theatrical mainstream. As a literary director, he often changed theatres. As a playwright – an author of plays with anticlerical motifs – he had difficulty in getting through. Each of the premieres was traditionally protested against by members of the right-wing League of Polish Families”.

The extensive reportage about Słobodzianek was also published in the latest issue of Duży Format (the supplement to Gazeta Wyborcza no. 247). The article Pójdziesz za mną w ogień (You’ll Follow Me Into The Fire) was written by Anna Bikont – the author of the widely commented book My z Jedwabnego (We From Jedwabne). She recollects: “I met him in the 1960s – he had already been known for his activity in the Wierszalin Theatre and plays rooted in the landscape of the Polish and Byelorussian borderlands. He wore a black velour suit, had a big beard and walked too dignifiedly for his 40 years”. Among opinions quoted by Bikont, there is also that of Jerzy Pilch – a friend of Słobodzianek in his university years in Krakow, who said: “There were three of us: Marian Stala, Tadziu and I, and we were all immersed in social life to proper excess. Each of us dreamed of entering the realm of literature, but it was Tadzio who created his own artistic plan already as a student. […] He accomplished everything, which is still a source of satisfaction to me,” concludes Pilch.

Based on the popular drama by Słobodzianek and directed by Ondrej Spišák, Nasza klasa (Our Class) is a long-awaited theatrical event of this year’s edition of the Conrad Festival. Already on 6 November (Saturday) it will be staged in the Ludwik Solski Academy of Dramatic Arts. We invite you to see it!