Premiere: 4 December 2004
Premiere in London: 8 May 2012
Author: William Shakespeare
Nobody than Shakespeare could better and in a more sensitive way put the mirror to the nature. The times and epochs change, but human desires, passions and dreams remain the same.
Maja Kleczewska found our entire modernity in the text of Shakespeare along with its cruelty and evil. The King Duncan is located somewhere between Pruszków and Wołomin, Mackbeth and Lady Mackbeth, are an unfulfilled marriage, and the world presented seems to be very close to the reality of the movies by Lynch and Almodowar.
Kleczewska asks a question: how is the evil born, who is responsible for this, to what extent we direct our fate and to what extent it plays with us?
Prizes for the performance:
- Golden Mask 2005 for Judyta Paradzińska for the role of Lady Mackbeth.
- Golden Mask 2005 for Andrzej Jakubczyk for the role of the Witch.
- Grand Prix of 45 Kaliskie Theatrical Meetings for Judyta Paradzińska and Michał Majnicz for the roles of Lady Mackbeth and Mackbeth.
- Actor award of 45 Kaliskie Theatrical Meetings for the supporting role for Maciej Namysło for the role of the Witch.
- Nomination for Maja Kleczewska to Passport „Polityka” 2005.
Direction: Maja Kleczewska
Scenography: Katarzyna Borkowska
Music: Waldemar Wróblewski
Lights: Piotr Pawlik
„Event. This performance is watched with bated breath and in fear that the evil from the stage would get over the footlights and mess with your head.
It is even a more cynical world than the one in Shakespeare’s play. The Scottish tragedy has been reduced in scale, but also intensified. In this one, to occupy the throne, nobody kills the king but a neighbourhood gangster to feel unpunished for two days. The three witches are two transvestites and a slut. There is no use looking for a God here, an extrasensory world, the forces of nature. The music, videos and people that can be killed – this is what is left.
(…) Katarzyna Borkowska designed probably the best stage I have seen recently. The huge stage in Opole breathes, every part of it was used (…). Almost every stage, musical quotation, part of a performance by Maja Kleczewska is known to us from somewhere: from „Requiem for a Dream”, „Irreversible”, „The adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, from Tarantino and Lynch. However, out of these pastiches, the director consistently and absolutely seriously moulds her own original whole. She invites you into the world of a roll of film, because she knows that this is the only thing that we have in our heads.
In this „Macbeth” there are no righteous men. Malcolm is a goofy yobbo, adorned with gold. Macduff – cunning mafia accountant who always disappears in time. The power here is illusory, friendship is self-interested, love is whored around, sex is degrading, and death is shameful. (…) Kleczewska directs with all the feminine ruthlessness that I know. She shows a world in which only the patterns of violence, rape, murder operate. The play does not say that evil is banal. It shows step by step, as it is born, gaining momentum. Shocking.
(…) Let us not look for a simple analogy between the „Macbeth” and what the city lives on. Let us watch the canine mechanism. For what we have in common with Macbeth? Not crimes, not the intention of them, but the desire to mimic someone else. Meanness puts on a mask of strength and virtue. Wickedness covers with a sham from the suburbs. In the final part of the show – after throttling of mad Macbeth by a crowd of bodyguards – a playful transvestite sings brazenly the superhit „I Will Survive” to the audience. What is going to survive apart from evil? Well what?
P.S. I have not given a starred A to anyone yet. This time, I do (…).”
Łukasz Drewniak, Przekrój
„The fact that „Macbeth” can be done in a really modern and successful way was proven in Opole by May Kleczewska (J. Kochanowski Drama Theatre). Her performance is watched like the best action film and it was also made like a film. There is as much cruelty in it as in the whole pop culture altogether. However, it is senseless cruelty, because the performance is both a parody of the pop culture violence, and a warning against it. The story is set in the environment of mafiosos. Macbeth is a gangster. Macduff – a daft yobbo, the witches – transvestites singing a gay anthem „I Will Survive”. No wonder that it turned out to be a scandal, and local teachers have a problem if one can recommend young people to watch this performance during the Polish lessons. And finally, the title character has oral sex on stage! But this time even the critics side with the youth: it is a shock, but consistent, and it seems that the ladies teaching Polish do not watch films by Tarantino and Aronofsky. The Kleczewska’s show, as a matter of fact, the fear is not greater than the one which prevails after dark in our neighbourhoods. (…)”
Jacek Melchior, Wprost
„(…) In „Macbeth” from the J. Kochanowski Drama Theatre in Opole there is no war at all. One would like to say: there is no reality, apart from the fact that this is what the trap is about.
In Maja Kleczewska’s show, the world is like from the screen, like from a rock video clip. The hags are vivid bar moths: a superannuated whore and two transvestites, Duncan is clearly the king of the mafia, not Scotland. The crowd fools around, rudeness is mixed with promiscuity. The speeches for a giggle, the simulated strip shows and parodies of hits, however, are overly exaggerated to take them literally. Some quotations. The world of „Macbeth” is a world of reflections, artificial images, borrowings from the mass visions – and it only breaks at the time of the first murder. Then Macbeth (Michael Majnicz), posing as a tough guy, starts to shake and stutter, and his wife (Judyta Paradzińska) abandons her weary pose.
The director with admirable mastery, with so little experience, begins to lead two parallel lines of the show, using video, unrealistic means of expression. On one level, we watch Macbeth’s madness, for whom the characters get split, and the servants have the faces of the victims. On the other there is the world of enactments, processed images, quotes separated from the bases. They will win: a group of musclemen with signs saying „Birnam Forest” on black T-shirts does the order with Macbeth, and the transvestite sings the final hit.
(…) Kleczewska portrays the world that is frustrated in terms of identity, in which the boundaries between the real and reflected things are blurred. But this only sharpens the individual responsibility! The producer looks at the couple of characters with compassion, but does not absolve them from anything – for instance immaturity, which is a common alibi in the eyes of young interpreters. This non-sentimentalization alone, against the current fashion puts the Opole show in a row with the most interesting realizations in the recent years. (…)”
Jacek Sieradzki, Polityka