Jan Klata [Warschau/Berlin]



01.02 – 02.02.2008

Battlefield Europe! WWII is coming to an end. At the conference in Yalta (February 1945) Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin redraw the border between Germany and Poland. As a result, millions of people are driven from their homes after the war has ended. This is what Transfer!, a production by the Polish ‘angry young director’ Jan Klata, is all about.

Klata narrates the story from a modern point of view, sixty years on, in the Polish city of Wroclaw (which before the war had been the German city of Breslau). The script was based on the stories and memories of people who experienced the drama at that time. These witnesses are both the actors and protagonists in this performance. Their stories are contrasted, in counterpoint, with scenes of the conference at Yalta. Professional actors play the parts of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin who, as Chu, Roo and Sta cover several numbers by Joy Division (‘There is no room for the weak’ – Day of the Lords).

In Transfer! Klata does not attempt to make a ‘para-theatrical document’, but simply to tell the story of ordinary people who were crushed between the cogwheels of History. His aim is to reveal the grotesque absurdity of Big Politics. The historical truth is left in the air.

Jan Klata was born in Warsaw in 1973, studied directing in Warsaw and Krakow and quickly made a name for himself with a number of explicitly political plays such as Gogol’s The Reviser (2003), Grejprut’s Smile, his own text (2003), André Gides’ Les Caves du Vatican (2004), H, an adaptation of Hamlet performed at the shipyards in Gdansk, and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

With this performance we introduce his work to Belgium.

direction Jan Klata
dramaturgy Dunja Funke, Sebastian Majewski
Yalta scenes Jan Klata
set Mirek Kaczmarek
casting & research Ulrike Dittrich, Zbigniew Aleksy
projection Robert Balinski
light design Jan Slawkowski
with Przemyslaw Bluszcz (Stalin), Wieslaw Cichy (Churchill), Zdzislaw Kuzniar (Roosevelt) and Karolina Kozak, Ilse Bode, Angela Hubrich, Hanne-Lore Pretzsch, Jan Charewicz, Jan Kruczkowski, Zygmunt Sobolewski, Andrzej Ursyn Szantyr, Matthias Goeritz, Guenter Linke
research & development of the material Büro Kopernikus, Deutsch-Polnische Kulturprojekte
co-production Teatr Wspólczesny (Wroclaw) & Hebbel-am-Ufer (Berlin)
in association with Europalia, Adam Mickiewicz Institut (Warschau)
support Polisches Institut Berlin, Hauptstadtkulturfonds