This was an epoch-making event: 160 years after Adam Mickiewicz wrote Forefathers’ Eve (Dziady), the play received its first unabridged production in Poland. The uncut version starts at mid-day and continues – including breaks for lunch and dinner – well into the night. The opening of Forefathers’ Eve in 2016 was the culmination of a 3-year-long artistic project, a tremendous staging challenge which involved all members of the ensemble and the entire ‘machinery’ of the theatre. This day-long theatre marathon is an astute exploration of the meaning of the original text. Michał Zadara understands and interprets Polish classics like no other director. His Forefathers’ Eve is an attractive, modern discourse. The originality and faithfulness of the production have been recognised with top prizes in the Living Classics competition for theatre productions of old Polish literature, held by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

  • Polski Theatre, Wrocław
  • Director ― Michał Zadara
  • Assistant director ― Marta Streker
  • Dramaturgy ― Daniel Przastek
  • Performers ― Monika Bolly, Sylwia Boroń, Michał Chorosiński, Wiesław Cichy, Klaudia Cygoń, Adam Cywka, Marian Czerski, Bogusław Danielewski, Jakub Giel, Małgorzata Gorol, Anna Ilczuk, Piotr Jędrasik, Mariusz Kiljan, Andrzej Kłak, Tomasz Kocuj, Rafał Kronenberger, Daria Krzyżaniak, Igor Kujawski, Kacper Kuryś, Julia Leszkiewicz, Tomasz Lulek, Cezary Łukaszewicz, Dariusz Maj, Paweł Majchrowski, Dagmara Mrowiec-Matuszak, Michał Mrozek, Katarzyna Neugebauer-Jastrzębska, Aleksandra Ochman, Michał Opaliński, Sean Palmer, Paulina Panas, Marcin Pempuś, Edwin Petrykat, Bartosz Porczyk, Iwona Rólczyńska, Ewa Skibińska, Justyna Skoczek, Eryk Skonieczny, Michał Stawiski, Katarzyna Strączek, Adam Szczyszczaj, Mikołaj Szmeichel, Anna Tomaszewska, Martin Vischer, Janka Woźnicka, Wojciech Ziemiański, Marta Zięba
  • Puppeteers ― Jakub Kowalczyk, Anna Makowska-Kowalczyk, Wojciech Stagenalski, Anna Zych
  • Set design ― Robert Rumas
  • Costumes ― Julia Kornacka, Arek Ślesiński
  • Lighting design, video ― Artur Sienicki
  • Music ― Jacek „Budyń” Szymkiewicz, Jan Duszyński, Maja Kleszcz, Wojciech Krzak
  • Premiere of the full production ― 20 February 2016
  • The performance, including the breaks, runs for over 14 hours. The actors made it to the end in fine form, and the audience kept their exquisite energy high, awarding the artists with a long standing ovation. Mickiewicz carried the day – his text has emerged from all this unscathed.

    Edwin Bendyk |

  • Michał Zadara is a unique director. He is technology savvy, but he does not use Mickiewicz to express his own fears or enact scenes from his favourite films. Zadara grasps the meaning of texts. He studies the original punctuation to decipher the poet’s intended meaning. His humility towards the classics brings to mind Konrad Swinarski.

    Mirosław Kocur |

  • […] Mickiewicz’s explanations of the most obscure terms (never spoken from the stage) prove how splendid, rich – in language and content – heterogeneous and captivating is the work that we typically associate with school reading.

    Aneta Kyzioł | Polityka

  • The theatre as an institution made a friendly nod to the audience, and the audience made a friendly nod to the theatre. […] When somewhere around 1 am, during Gustaw’s mammoth monologue in Part IV, Bartosz Porczyk disappeared behind the priest’s house for a moment to emerge with a carton of juice in hand, take a gulp with an apologetic smile and resume his monologue, the audience heaved a sigh of relief. He’s going to make it. The actor’s throat dried up for a moment, but he’s going to finish telling the story of his love...

    Joanna Targoń | Didaskalia


Date and hour

29 October


Running time

13 hours 30 minutes (with seven intermissions)