TEATR STUDIO (WARSAW) The Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass - based on Bruno Schulz ARS POLONICA - Polish Art in Budapest

Tuesday 29 March 2005, 9:00 pm

Katona József Színház, Budapest

The Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass, a text cycle by Bruno Schulz, somewhat misleadingly known as the "Polish Kafka", was first published in Hungarian translation in 1969.

The author, a Polish Jew from Galicia, was also an exceptionally talented draughtsman. His works with their fantastic, small town, grotesque atmosphere, unusual visual elements, rich in affectionate humour and written in an incomparable language, are treasures of Polish literature which have not yet been widely discovered in Hungary.

The adaptation from the stories in The Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass is the second work directed in Warsaw theatre by the Lithuanian director Oskaras Kor¹unovas who is well known in Hungary too. The Teatr Studio in Warsaw was established by Józef Szajna in 1972, and at first basically operated as a theatre producing his own works and later those of Jerzy Grzegorzewski who succeeded him a decade later. This trend was broken in 1997, when Zbigniew Brzoza representing the younger generation of directors took over and tried to give talented young directors an opportunity. Kor¹unovas, who had a theatre operating under his own name in Vilnius, came to the Warsaw Teatr Studio with a handful of outstanding Lithuanian artists to work with the Polish company on an adaptation of Bruno Schulz prose.

The leading role - the father sent to the sanatorium - is played by Jan Peszek, an outstanding Polish actor. Schulz's improbable, dream-like world is well suited to Kor¹unovas's theatre based on movement. The performance balances on the border of reality and dream, life and death and at the same time is an excellent example of how different worlds, whether still alive or gone forever (in this case: Polish, Jewish and Lithuanian) can form a whole within the fields of art.