The Wooster Group A PINK CHAIR
(In Place of a Fake Antique)
Commissioned as part of the Tadeusz Kantor centennial, A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique) revisits one of the Polish director’s final pieces. Neither homage, nor recreation of an original work, the show reveals the distinctive sensibilities of two driving forces of theatrical innovation, separated by language, culture and history. What brings them together, however, is their collective-based practice of theatre and radical freedom.
Since it was founded in 1975, the Wooster Group has continued to look to sources from the past as its inspiration for an experimental brand of theatre extending across all areas of performance, visual arts and multimedia. In A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique), the New York-based collective blends footage of rehearsals from the piece I Shall Never Return with theoretical writings by Tadeusz Kantor, and an interview with his daughter. This enables a dialogue to be set up between the performers onstage and the resonances of this burlesque, tragic work peopled with the shadows of Polish history. The piece at the core of the show is the farewell that Kantor, the flagship director of post-war Poland’s avant-garde, made in 1998 to the characters he had created. Accordingly, we come across a mystical bride, a soldier, a priest, and a prostitute, but also Ulysses, Penelope and the director himself, in a playing space which is somewhere between Ithaca and a Polish inn of dubious reputation. In the hands of the ever-inventive Wooster Group, this theatrical palimpsest, with the performance of songs helping to build up the sense of emotion, becomes a quest for lost time, an ode to the spirit-like powers of the theatre.
Running time : 1h10