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Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Heroes Square © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

 

Presentation

  • 15 March 1938, Heldenplatz: the Viennese cheer Hitler, who just invaded Austria. Professor Schuster, a sophisticated music lover, at once a tyrant and a rebel, flees to Oxford. Ten years later, he comes back, “for love of music.” But his wife Hedwig, haunted by the enthusiasm with which her country welcomed its own occupation, convinces him to go back to England. The day before they are to leave, with their trunks already shut and the precious Bösendorfer piano already on its way to Oxford, Schuster kills himself in the middle of the Heroes' Square... Written in the middle of the Kurt Waldheim Affair, when Austria elected a Prime Minister with a murky Nazi past, and dealing with the question of the Anschluß in vehement, almost brutal prose, Heldenplatz caused a political scandal even before the text was played or published in 1989. After Woodcutters, unanimously celebrated last year, the Polish director and the actors of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre are now working on Thomas Bernhard's final provocation, the last play in his “theatre of irritation” which seeks “the part of truth that exists in every lie.” Together, they explore the possibilities of a time suspended between the world of the living and the world of the dead, in a fascinating relationship to the persistence of thought.

    Krystian Lupa

    After graduating from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, Krystian Lupa studied at the National Film School in Łódź, then at the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków. He began his career as a director towards the end of the 1970s, before becoming an artist-associate at the Teatr Norwida (1977-1985). Influenced by Kantor, he used his time there to defend his love of experimental theatre and to direct plays by Polish authors like Witkiewicz or Gombrowicz. In 1986, he became the director of the Stary Teatr, where he remained until 2013. Fascinated by Russian, German, and Austrian authors like Musil, Dostoyevsky, Rilke, Bulgakov, Chekhov, and particularly Bernhard, he has adapted many of the latter's dramatic and literary texts. In The Theatre of Revelation, Krystian Lupa, who likes to work as a scenographer or a costume and light designer as much as as a director, developed his conception of theatre as a tool to explore the spiritual situation of individuals struggling within “times of great cultural upheaval.”

    Thomas Bernhard

    Born in 1931, Thomas Bernhard spent his childhood in Salzburg, under Nazi rule. After contracting tuberculosis, he had to leave school in 1947 and spend significant time in the hospital. It is at that time that he began writing poetry. His first novel, Frost, was published in 1963. In 1968, he used his acceptance speech for a prize to attack Austria, drawing the ire of the institutions. His first play, A Party for Boris, was met with acclaim upon premiering in Hamburg in 1970. Thomas Bernhard died in 1989, leaving behind eighteen plays, about twenty texts in prose, five poetry collections, and over a hundred articles.

  • Distribution

    Direction, stage design and lights Krystian Lupa
    Translation Rūta Jonynaitė
    Costumes Piotr Skiba
    Artistic collaboration, video Łukasz Twarkowski
    Music Bogumił Misala
    Assistant director Giedrė Kriaučionytė, Adam A. Zdunczyk

    With Povilas Budrys, Neringa Bulotaitė, Eglė Gabrėnaitė, Doloresa Kazragytė, Viktorija Kuodytė, Valentinas Masalskis, Eglė Mikulionytė, Vytautas Rumšas, Arūnas Sakalauskas, Rasa Samuolytė, Toma Vaškevičiūtė

    Production

    Production Lithuanian National Drama Theater
    Coproduction Festival international de théâtre La Divine Comédie (Cracovie)
    With the support of Ministry of Culture of Lithuania, Lithuania Cultural Council, Polish Institut of Vilnius

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On tour