Taking place in the cultural and artistic circle of 1980s Austria, Woodcutters is a quasi-autobiographical tale, by turns ironic, funny, and violent. Through the power of Thomas Bernhard's writing, it becomes a sort of novelistic fiction that betrays the irritation of its author, both witness and player of the games people who belong to the same world play. By choosing to adapt and direct it, Krystian Lupa creates a wonderful reflection on art and artistic creation that goes beyond the anecdotal description of the squabbles inherent to the oversized egos of the people gathered for a dinner in remembrance of a dead actress. Faithful to Thomas Bernhard's “frantic” style, which exposes his wounds and contradictions, Krystian Lupa once again develops a dramatic aesthetics based on a slowing down of time, alternating with an acceleration in moments of crisis, supported here by thirteen actors whose work aims to uncover the essence “of people and of things.” This artistic process, bright and clear, which goes beyond the simple psychological incarnation of the characters and is unique in European theatre, is presented for the first time at the Festival d'Avignon.
In 1984, a then-53-year-old Thomas Bernhard publishes Woodcutters. Already celebrated throughout Europe as a poet, novelist, and dramatic writer, he is known as a master of provocation, as “the man who says no.” Clear-headed and inflexible, filled with a fierce and turbulent joy, he made his life and his love-hate relationship with the history of his country, Austria, the raw material of his fiction. He died in 1989, leaving behind an essential body of work made up of eighteen plays, about twenty texts in prose, five poetry collections, and about a hundred essays, all testament to a lifelong quest to “find the measure of truth within every lie.”
Text Thomas Bernhard Translation Monika Muskała Adaptation, direction, scenography and lights Krystian Lupa Costumes Piotr Skiba Music Bogumił Misala Video Karol Rakowski, Łukasz Twarkowski Assistant directors Oskar Sadowski, Sebastian Krysiak, Amadeusz Nosal Translation and french adaptation for the surtitles Agnieszka Zgieb
With Bożena Baranowska Anna Schreker Krzesisława Dubielówna La cuisinière Jan Frycz L'acteur du Théâtre national Anna Ilczuk Mira, L'épicière de Kilb Michał Opaliński James Marcin Pempuś John Halina Rasiakówna Maya Auersberger Piotr Skiba Thomas Bernhard Adam Szczyszczaj Joyce Andrzej Szeremeta Alfred Rehmden Ewa Skibińska Jeannie Billroth Marta Zięba Joana Thul Wojciech Ziemiański Gerhard Auersberge
Production TEATR POLSKI à Wrocław With the support of Ministère de la Culture et du Patrimoine de Pologne and Institut polonais de Paris within the year of polish professional public theatre, celebrated on the occasion of 250 years of public theatre in Poland.