‘Forefathers’ Eve’: A Crash

Weronika Szczawińska, Agnieszka Jakimiak

A remix of Jerzy Grzegorzewski’s Forefathers’ Eve: Twelve Improvisations produced at the Helena Modrzejewska Stary Theatre in Kraków (first performed on 24 June 1995)

‘Apart from a couple of nice moments, the whole thing needs to be summed up briefly: it failed. However, what is the specific thing that didn’t work out? […] I’ll put it paradoxically, maybe provocatively, deliberately exaggerating, by the way: Grzegorzewski managed to create a performance that’s so open, that it’s not even there’, wrote a critic from Kraków after the opening night of Forefathers’ Eve: Twelve Improvisations directed by Jerzy Grzegorzewski. The performance, staged in 1995, was created in an atmosphere of particular expectation: it was supposed to be the first Forefathers’ Eve at the Stary Theatre since Konrad Swinarski’s legendary production. However, what came out of it was an eccentric piece, which many reviewers judged harshly, and which only a handful of theatre scholars described compellingly. We look askance, indirectly and from a distance at Forefathers’ Eve: Twelve Improvisations, because none of us had the opportunity of watching it live on stage. The material that’s left encourages us to engage in a mischievous game and to tamper with territory that Polish contemporary theatre seems to fear the most: that of flops and failuresthat are beautiful disasters; of a beautiful disaster. A community myth which doesn’t unify people at all; of ‘hermetic quality’, whatever that is; and of a strangeness, installed in the very heart of the community myth, which may turn out to be a method allowing one to understand the community. We want to repeat gestures and words, testing the debris left after this peculiar crash of an arch-play.

  • Director — Weronika Szczawińska
  • Dramaturg — Agnieszka Jakimiak
  • ​Performers — Weronika Szczawińska, Agnieszka Jakimiak, Aleksandra Matlingiewicz, Małgorzata Pauka
  • Original title — „Dziady”: kraksa 


Date and hour

4 November

Running time

60 minutes