Janusz Opryński @en
The lifespan of a performance is a couple of years, a dozen, if the creators are lucky. There are performances, which are like old museum expositions, they have been onstage for decades, played according to the same script, with the cast getting old together with the performance.
“The Brothers Karamazov” by Janusz Opryński, considered one of the most important performances of the last season, had been shown in Poland and Europe many times, before TVP Kultura decided to film it in the best possible moment. The performance is still fresh, young, strong, continues to be a challenge for the actors and still manages to surprise everybody. And, at the same time, it unveils the face that has not been yet discovered –changing set, close-ups of the actors’ faces, unavailable in traditional theatre, they make us discover “The Brothers…” once more.
Janusz Opryński’s performance is kept in the tradition of the Provisorium Theatre, a legendary independent theatre in Poland. The director makes the spectators breathless; the stage with actors closed within a frame of decoration is spinning faster and faster, and nothing can stop this wild pace, neither common sense, nor asceticism or passion. The dramaturgy of the performance is painfully precise, cruelly consequent. All subsequent events lead unavoidably to a disaster, not because there is no God, but because the characters are desperately trying to find Him, bring Him back and force others to believe in Him.
Reaching for Dostoyevsky, the director inspired a completely new translation – especially for this performance we got the congenial translation by Cezary Wodziński, a philosopher, researcher, translator. Opryński went all or nothing and proved that in contemporary theatre one can ask questions about the state of the world and speak wisely about guilt, punishment, passion and forgiveness. A must-see.