“Ivona, Princess of Burgundia” is a performance directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna, based on a play written by Witold Gombrowicz, one of the most important European playwrights of the first half of the twentieth century, a forerunner of existentialism and the Theatre of the Absurd. The play by Gombrowicz, published one year before the outbreak of the Second World War, oscillates between comedy and psychological thriller. It is a grotesque story about a fictional family whose conventional life gets disrupted when Ivona, an introverted girl, appears on the stage. Even though during the whole performance Ivona, the title heroine hardly utters a few words, her silent presence causes a revolution in the family, breaking conventions, revealing hidden secrets and bringing the family to the brink of collapse. Grzegorz Jarzyna, in his performance, will focus on the conflict between the system of social standards and prohibitions versus freedom of an individual. The character of silent Ivona stands for a metaphor of a rebellion of a helpless man, who cannot and doesn’t want to live in the imposed system. I don’t understand why people do not develop over the centuries – says the director. Technology and civilization are the elements of constant and rapid evolution and one may expect that we should therefore be more experienced and much closer to the essence of human being. Yet in reality we seem to be lost in this system.
Premiere: October 10th -11th, 2016, Moscow
Coproduction: Theatre of the Nations in Moscow and TR Warszawa, in cooperation with Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Polish Institute in Moscow.