Gospels of Childhood - performance by ZAR Theatre (Wroclaw). Ars Polonica - Polish Art in Budapest

Tuesday 22 March 2005, 8:00 pm

Merlin Theatre, Budapest

The Zar Theatre of Wroclaw operates within the frame of the city's Grotowski Institute: the institution which cultivates, studies and furthers the work of the famous master of Polish theatre, and the theatre studio have more than just the organisational structure in common. The Zar has inherited the revolutionary traditions of Polish theatre which have had a great impact throughout the world.

The production the company is bringing to Budapest, Gospels of Childhood, was first performed in autumn 2003 after three years of preparatory work. It is based on the story of the resurrection of Lazarus, recalled by his two sisters, Martha and Mary. Among the texts used we also hear extracts from the almost unknown apocryphal gospels of Mary Magdalene, Philip and Thomas.

The rich musical material of the Gospels of Childhood is based on folk songs and church music collected by artists of the company during the artistic and creative process on expeditions to Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece from authentic informants between 1999 and 2003. The Wroclaw company's performance with nine characters is an attempt to recount the "old story of the flesh" after love, humiliation and death. It is the impossible story of resurrection, told in prose, song and dance.

The project is led by Jarosław Fret.

"The Centre for Study of Jerzy Grotowski’s Work and for Cultural and Theatrical Research" is an institution which combines artistic and scholarly research projects that correspond closely to the challenges laid down by Jerzy Grotowski’s artistic practice.

Founded in 1990 the Centre operates from the former Laboratory Theatre premises located in Wroclaw’s Old Market Square and from the forest base of Brzezinka near Olesnica. The Centre works under the auspices of the City Council of Wroclaw.