Forefathers’ Eve directed by Eimuntas Nekrošius is the first revival of this seminal Polish play on the National Theatre’s main stage since 1967. The director had dreamed of putting it on since he started working in the theatre in the 1980s, but his plans were foiled by Soviet authorities.

Nekrošius’s vision is very personal, original and multi-layered, with Forefathers’ Eve fully suspended between the worlds of the living and the dead, seen through the prism of the legacy of Mickiewicz and his Vilnius experiences: a meditation on a work immersed in an extraordinary era.

  • National Theatre, Warsaw
  • Director — Eimuntas Nekrošius
  • Text — based on Adam Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve
  • Text — edited by Rolandas Rastauskas
  • Performers — Bartłomiej Bobrowski, Katarzyna Dorosińska, Karol Dziuba, Wiktoria Gorodeckaja, Piotr Grabowski, Anna Grycewicz, Joanna Gryga, Kinga Ilgner, Arkadiusz Janiczek, Robert Jarociński, Paulina Korthals, Grzegorz Kwiecień, Grzegorz Małecki, Kacper Matula, Kamil Mrożek, Szymon Nowak, Paweł Paprocki, Piotr Piksa, Katarzyna Pośpiech, Marcin Przybylski, Mateusz Rusin, Paulina Szostak, Magdalena Warzecha, Adrian Zaremba
  • Music — Paweł Szymański
  • Set design — Marius Nekrošius
  • Costumes — Nadežda Gultiajeva
  • Lighting — Audrius Jankauskas
  • Premiere — 10 March 2016
  • Forefathers’ Eve at the National Theatre is no nation. No myth. No history. No ritual. No prophecy. No martyrdom. No Polishness. No diagnosis. No present. No whole. No experiment. No extravagance. No recapitulation. No critical reading. And it is not all we know about Forefathers’ Eve. Eimuntas Nekrošius did not produce Mickiewicz’s drama to offer a Lithuanian perspective on what it is all about and to explain why we had always been wrong. The Lithuanian director does not go against the grain of what is dominant and current in Polish theatre, nor does he reference the previous production of the play. […] Nekrošius’s Forefathers’ Eve is first of all about Nekrošius reading Forefathers’ Eve.

    Łukasz Drewniak |

  • By monumentalising the figure of Mickiewicz, Nekrošius has been able to portray Poles as trapped in the Romantic poet’s gesture, that is, in the symbols, mindset and manner that – as some claim – make them impotent and weak. The National Theatre’s Forefathers’ Eve is a drama of the Polish soul […] [or rather] of the modern soul, stunted and yearning for maturity, like the inhabitants of Plato’s cave yearn for light.

    Jacek Kopciński | Teatr

  • Nekrošius does not use Forefathers’ Eve as a vehicle for any stock-taking or diagnosis […]. The Lithuanian director does not interpret anything in the sense that we have become accustomed to in the context of Forefathers’ Eve, and this comes as a shock. […] No explicit decisions are made, nothing is declared to be the only correct reading. The source of Nekrošius’s Forefathers’ Eve is the word itself, the only legitimate way in which life and death can be explored onstage is offered by poetry. This is all that is needed.

    Przemysław Skrzydelski | wSieci


Date and hour

4 November


Running time

4 hours 20 minutes (with one intermission)