3STRS Travelling to Moscow is not an issue any more, since you can fly to the Russian capital for 99 euros. Today the daughters of General Prozorov, the title characters of Chekhov’s drama, no longer miss the big city. It is the time of their youth that they are longing for. Low cost airlines do not run in this direction. You can only get there on board your own uncertain memory. In the vision of Luk Perceval, 3STRS is a portrait of an ageing Europe that does not want to give in to the passage of time. The routine of the title heroines’ daily existence is interrupted by an attempt to recall events from the past.
In a metaphorical nursing home, ageing Europe confronts the new energy of immigrants. What results from this meeting? What are the political and social consequences of the aging of entire societies? How do we deal with old age, memory loss? In what way do we construct and idealise the past? The theme of the passing of life, characteristic of Chekhov’s dramaturgy, has never been as current as it is today, when the old world order is collapsing and the new one has not yet developed. The pandemic has added another aspect to problem of ageing: the isolation of older people. The Prozorov sisters are shipwrecked prisoners on the island of memory. They live in the past, unable to confront the present. What are they afraid of and what do they miss? What are we afraid of and longing for? “ Maybe it is a spectacle about aging Poles, who today constitute the margin of Europe and, living in a grotesque cardboard state, see their imaginary power and imaginary meaning in the mirror? Or maybe more broadly: about an ageing Europe, staring at the illusion of its power and strength, stuck on the periphery of the world, where what is important now takes place on completely different stages? Or maybe it is simply a spectacle about contemporary man, who cannot find his place in a world composed of false narratives?
——TOMASZ DOMAGAŁA, domagalasiekultury.pl
LUK PERCEVAL (1957) Belgian theatre director studied acting at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp and then worked as an actor in Belgium. In 1984 he co-founded the independent theatre Blauwe Maandag Compagnie, which was considered the most important representative of the Flemish Wave. In 1997 Perceval merged this theatre group with the Koninklijke Nederlandse Schouwburg in Antwerp under the name Het Toneelhuis. Perceval was the artistic director of the new theatre. In 1999, it hired the German Schauspielhaus in Hamburg for its first German production, which premiered in co-production with the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg. The production of Schlachten! Schlachten! was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen and was chosen by Theater heute for the production of the year. A year later, the twelve-hour production stunned the audience at the Prague German Language Theatre Festival. Since then Luk Perceval has often worked in Germany– at the Münchner Kammerspiele, at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin and finally at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. Since the 2009/2010 season he has been director and senior director there. Most recently, he developed the productions Love (2016), Money (2016) and Hunger (2017), which as a trilogy about a family are based on a cycle of novels by Émile Zola and have been shown as a 7.5-hour theatre marathon since the 2017/2018 season.
TR WARSZAWA has been one of the best-known theatres in Poland for over 10 years. It is regarded as a modern theatre open to new ideas, a theatre that cultivates the best theatrical traditions. The theatre scores highly in various rankings of young European theatres, something confirmed by the numerous awards won by the company at national and international festivals. It attracts notable directors – Grzegorz Jarzyna (artistic director since 1998 and from 2006 to 2013 also general director), Krystian Lupa, Krzysztof Warlikowski and René Pollesch, as well as representatives of younger generations such as Michał Borczuch. In searching for a new language of theatrical expression the company not only reaches for new, contemporary dramatic texts but also reinterprets the classics.
HELENA MODRZEJEWSKA NATIONAL STARY THEATRE is one of the oldest public theatres in Poland. In the second half of the twentieth century its fame was earned by artists such as Tadeusz Kantor, Lidia Zamkow, Jerzy Grotowski, Zygmunt Hübner, Konrad Swinarski, Jerzy Jarocki, Andrzej Wajda, Krystyna Zachwatowicz, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Stanisław Radwan, Zygmunt Konieczny, Zofia and Jerzy Skarżyńscy, Jerzy Juk-Kowarski, Wojciech Krakowski, Kazimierz Wiśniak, Krystian Lupa, Paweł Miśkiewicz, Mikołaj Grabowski, Grzegorz Jarzyna and Krzysztof Warlikowski. In recent years a number of directors of the younger and middle generation have worked in the theatre or with it, including Maja Kleczewska, Anna Smolar, Monika Strzępka, Barbara Wysocka, Michał Borczuch, Wojciech Faruga, Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Jan Klata, Wojciech Klemm, Marcin Liber, Wiktor Rubin, Paweł Świątek and Michał Zadara. Since 2021 the theatre has been a member of the UTE – the Union of European Theatres.