set design: Magdalena Maciejewska
lighting design: Katarzyna Łuszczyk, Dariusz Adamski
cast: Roma Gąsiorowska, Magdalena Kuta, Maria Maj, Janusz Chabior, Marek Kępiński, Eryk Lubos, Lech Łotocki, Mirosław Zbrojewicz / Robert Wabich
premiered: 18 November 2006
approximate running time: 1,5 h (no intermission)
"It is a short play, filled with humor and a whole lot of gags. Two really nice protagonists, acting on mysterious impulses, set off on an unintentionally frantic quest through Poland. It is a quest full of comic adventures, which over time turn out to be no joke, quite the opposite in fact, utterly no joke, indeed, quite tragic. The audience has to consider the fact that the play is not as lighthearted as it seems; its characters do not represent positive social or psychological models, and this journey doesn't have to be a life quest at all. Quite the contrary."
In the play "A Couple of Poor Polish-speaking Romanians" the authoress managed to confront our Polish majority complex towards immigrants from the South and East with our insecurity about tomorrow and provinciality. This is a paradox which tells us a lot about modern times: when Masłowska's heroes took part in a fancy dress party (its theme being: dirt, stench and diseases), perhaps, they did not feel at their best but at least they did not have to pretend to be someone else. They neither humiliated nor elevated themselves, which is what they do every day. This is how both the lost young people experimenting with drugs and having casual sex and the older couple - a husband and the wife he cheats upon - are made to live every day.
Predictably, the heroes are typical for young brutes and here, the authoress did not invent anything new. The dramatic structure is by far more interesting. I will not reveal it as I would spoil the joy of experiencing Masłowska's suspense. One has to admit, however, that it enables her to create a play surprising the reader with its twists and turns, the mystery of which is perfectly expressed by the title. The authoress showed also a flair for comedy, which is proved by the language games she conducts and word clusters which she invents. On condition that the reader is not put off by linguistic brutalities and vulgarisms. The masquerade created by her has a taste of the grotesque, slightly resembling Janusz Głowacki's works. Beautiful and lyrical parts are not scarce, either. One has to be careful, though. When the style gets too poetical - one may sense a sneer. A sad reflection comes from the echoes of Christian topics. Masłowska refers to the motives of pregnant Holy Mother and Joseph and Jesus whom we can recognise in every tramp or beggar - but she does it in an ironic way, á rebours, to show the erosion of Polish religiosity. It is hard not to believe her when she argues that for many Poles the only priest they keep in touch with is the one from the TV series. And this is where we touch the heart of the matter. Whether we want it or not - we are increasingly being immersed in the world of fiction. We are pretending, acting. And it gets even worse when we start resembling soap opera heroes. Then the ending is tragic.
Jacek Cieślak, Rzeczpospolita