TWITCHING AND OTHER GAMES at the Wroclaw Mime Theater

I don’t even know where to start and which element was better, the idea, the script, the direction, the acting or the beautiful madness that evaporated from the series… It all made a mix perfect of difference and softness intel.

As a society, we are all more aware of mental disorders. Instead of chaining the sick and watching them in cages like at the Zoo and watching them on Sunday afternoons, we treat them with understanding and humility. The approach of this show is a step forward. Dominika Knapik (director, choreography) and Patrycja Kowanska (script and dramaturgy) created a much-loved show. We can all imagine group therapy, people sitting in a circle and confiding in their traumas, most often uncovered in this process. Well, here we have literary characters from the works of Chekhov. They all struggle and we can see that there is something wrong with all of them. It’s so diverse that at some point you realize that every action in human life can be a sign of disorder. This is the heart of the show, what else?

The actors speak, which is unusual for pantomime theater, and because of this every word is like a drop full of sweetness. They seem to cherish the sound of their voice, not to mention the enormous potential of their body. They are like a smooth dough that makes our fingers satiny when kneaded. Incredible fun. The best strawberry cake I’ve had was made by a baker, not a pastry chef, as he treated the ingredients with unprecedented respect and innovation. It’s the same here. I can’t remember a show with such great respect for words.

If I had to describe the content in one word I would say: deconstruction. Not only Chekhov characters but also art in general, painting (the scene with patients drawing is pure genius and incredibly funny), music and the human body. We are witnessing a brutal recycling of art.

The cast is just amazing, they are all part of one game, the machine modes accelerate each other, people from Chekhov, Mateusz Kowalski, Anna Nabialkowska, Izabela Czesniewicz, Artur Borkowski, Mateusz Flis, Agnieszka Dziewa, Monika Rostecka, Sandra Kromer -Gorzelewska, Agnieszka Charkot, Eloy Moreno Gallego and the therapists, Paulina Jozwin and Jan Kochanowski. They’re all brilliant because they get a lot of juice out of their characters.

We can see them through their emotions, not just in action in the books and try to characterize them based on who they are, moving tons of smut from their own disturbances (I love that expression). Therapists, somewhat at random, offer new methods of taking charge of disorders, we see questionable results, although sometimes funny, but what else can we do?

The piece has a lot of layers which I loved. That’s how easy it is to go crazy. Because it really is. On the other hand, the distance and the sense of humor, the deconstruction and the movements of the actors are simply incredible. Amazing.

The happy ones on the pie for me are three sisters. You can’t imagine how synchronized and good they are, it’s perfection (my favorite is Agnieszka Dziewa).

To sum up: go, see, enjoy it with all your senses. It is also quite likely that after this show you will get an anthology of Chekhov’s works, like me.

Photo: Natalia Knapik

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