Malta’s origins are in theatre. Ever since the first editions it has been presenting street theatre alongside repertoire productions, Polish and foreign premieres, as well as works of both established and alternative theatres. This year will not be different. The program features several dozen theatre events.
Theatre makes “a leap of faith”
“The best tool for an artist today is theatre and working with people. I am a great idealist in this regard. You cannot sell theatre, you have to play it. I love theatre more and more”, says Jan Lauwers, the founder of Needcompany and, alongside Grace Ellen Barkey and Maarten Seghers, the curator of this year’s international section of Malta Festival Poznań – the Leap of faith Idiom.
The Idiom projects include their own plays, as well as works directed by representatives of the young generation of Belgian artists. The Malta audience will have the opportunity to see War and Turpentine based on the widely discussed book by Stefan Hertmans directed by Jan Lauwers himself, FOREVER by the Lemm&Barkey duo based on a composition by Gustav Mahler, 1095 by the Kuiperskaai collective which takes us back to medieval crusades, the intimate Another One by Lobke Leirens and Maxim Storms, an opera The Moon by the group MaisonDahlBonema, a premiere concert of Needcompany, O, Tomorrow’s Parties (or Fun Is Politics), as well as audiovisual projects by OHNO COOPERATION, i.e. Jan Lauwers and Maarten Seghers.
The subject of the idiom is also referenced in a coproduction of Malta Festival and Teatr Zagłębia in Sosnowiec entitled The Messiahs (or if there is nothing left for us to believe in, may we undermine something that we could believe in again?) directed by Aneta Groszyńska. It is a tragicomic fantasy, a montage of sources and a historical treaty about the Polish soul all in one.
Treading the boards of Poznań theatres
Poznań’s institutional theatres have also taken on romanticism. As a part of Poznań on Malta – which is a platform for the presentation of local artists – we will see two plays based on Juliusz Słowacki’s dramas: Kordian at Teatr Polski and Beniowski. A ballad with no hero at Teatr Nowy. Polish Dance Theatre shall premiere No more tears by Ivo Vedrala, as well as Dziady._Copy.doc by Tomasz Bazan, Polka and Harvest by Igor Gorzkowski, The Wedding. Afters by Marcin Liber and Bitterness by Kaja Kołodziejczyk.
There will also be no shortage of plays by alternative theatres. As a part of Malta Generator on Scena Robocza there will be a premiere of the play People by Strefa WolnoSłowa. Aleksandra Jakubczak will transfer girls’ stories from their diaries to the space of theatre in her project Girls Describe the World, the Circus Ferus group in their play Family will take on questions about the institution of the family, while Monica Duncan, Romuald Krężel and Emmilou Rößling will present a performance entitled Goodbye Olimpia (The Last Stocktaking) during which they will give us a guided tour around the old building of the Olimpia Cinema. At Republika Sztuki Tłusta Langusta we will go on a journey to the “refuse heap of civilisation” together with Barbara Prądzyńska in her play SMOG or breathing difficulties, during THEM or x scenes of life by Justyna Machaj we will listen to painful confessions of five young women, while Radykalna Frakcja Medialna Mazut will make us think about daily dilemmas of choice and values. Stowarzyszenie Teatralne Antrakt lead by Janusz Stolarski will invite us to Three Marys, which references the oldest liturgical drama Visitatio sepulchri.
As each year, the festival is accompanied by a special Old Brewery New Dance program, curated by Joanna Leśnierowska. Apart from a project directed by her we will see performances directed by Peter Pleyer, Anna Nowicka, Maria Stokłosa, Federic Gies, DJ Fiedel, Anton Stoianov, Thomas Zamolo, Maria Zimpel, Katarzyna Sitarz, Agata Maszkiewicz, Renata Piotrowska-Auffret, Janusz Orlik, Jeanine Durning as well as the groups Leon And The Wolf and Hodworks.
Theatre on the square
Theatre will also feature in the open space of the Liberty Square. It is where we will have a performative reading of Antigone from Molenbeek, a drama by Stefan Hertmans directed by Anna Smolar. The reading of the text, the translation of which was commissioned by the Festival, will be its Polish premiere. The Malta Generator stage will also be graced by Magdalena Cielecka in The Silence of the Sirens, Kamilla Baar in Ginczanka. Żar-ptak/Fire-Bird and Karolina Czarnecka in Solarium 2.0. We also invite you to a screening of a recording of the Wedding interpreted by over 70 graduates of PWST in Cracow, which include young and senior stars of cinema and theatre. There will also be plays for our youngest viewers. Theatrical projects for the youngest have been prepared by Barbara Prądzyńska, Jarosław Siejkowski, Agnieszka Dubilewicz, Zofia Małkowicz, Marcin Piątyczek, and many more.