set design Magdalena Maciejewska
costumes Magdalena Musiał
lighting design Jacqueline Sobiszewski
music arrangement Piotr Domiński, Grzegorz Jarzyna
video Cókierek, Pani K.
cast: Roma Gąsiorowska, Maria Maj, Magdalena Kuta, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Aleksandra Popławska, Danuta Szaflarska, Katarzyna Warnke, Rafał Maćkowiak, Adam Woronowicz oraz Lech Łotocki (radio voice)
I confronted generations: languages, ways of thinking and functioning, different every day realities in order to bring out the discord, the non-existence of someone who could be described as ”the statistical Pole”, the lack of a platform on which all this could meet and could be described by the word “we”. Everything in the play is rather gruesome and exaggerated but it seems to me that for the first time I actually say something potentially good. I certainly do not express a direct positive message, but this is my first text in which I did not write: “Oh, what an awful country we live in, how drab!” On the contrary, this is my affirmation of being a Pole and Polishness , which is at present totally sneered at, has mud slung at it and is treated, at least in my generation, as a flaw, as a slap in the face from fate.
Dorota Masłowska in an interview for Dziennik
When you read Masłowska’s drama for the first time, it seems like her other works – it is made of subversively transformed quotes from pop-culture and national stereotypes. (…) There is no action in the traditional sense, instead there is disjointed conversation bringing to mind the grotesque dialogues from Werner Schwab’s plays condemning the Austrian bourgeoisie. (…) Like in The Queen’s Peacock she exposes, in a masterly way, the falsehood of the language of advertisements, glossy magazines and tabloids; she confronts consumerist dreams with the reality of a family living way below subsistence level. She also mocks people from the media, represented in the play by a cynical director of the so-called ”socially committed cinema” and a moronic presenter who interviews him. All this is only a surface under which a more serious question is hidden – about ”us”, our national identity. In her White and Red Masłowska sneered at the chauvinistic and xenophobic longings of the red-neck Silny (Strong) and the mobilisation of the inhabitants of a little town who put up flags in anticipation of an attack by the alleged Russians. There, she poses a serious question - what unites Poles today? And what is their attitude to their Polishness?
(…) It seems that Poles are united by … their aversion to Poland and a deep frustration caused by the mere fact of being Polish. But not only – there is another side to this controversy over Polishness: a monologue referring to the rhetoric of „Radio Maryja”*. The speaker explains to the listeners that in the very beginning all people were Polish: the French, the Germans, the Russians. Only later, their land was taken away from them and they were left with only a tiny stretch of territory upon the Vistula. We can see in the play both a complete rejection of Polishness (the Small Metal Girl stresses – ”We are not Poles, we are Europeans, ordinary people!”) and the absurd idolisation of Polishness based on aversion. It is between those two attitudes that the whole drama unfolds.
Roman Pawłowski, Gazeta Wyborcza
Co-produced by TR Warszawa and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz.
Opening night: 26 March 2009, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin.
In co-operation with programme Warsaw - European Capital of Culture 2016.