THE MARK OF KAIN
Włodzimierz Staniewski, the director of "Gardzienice", invited another director to create a performance – James Brennan, who in 2011 began rehearsals with a group of students of X Academy of Theatre Practices. With time and with refining of the concept for the performance, the cast expanded by: Joanna Holcgreber, one of the main actresses of Staniewski’s Theatre, Ilona Zgiet of Andersen Theatre and Michal Zgiet from Kompania Teatr. (...)
Brennan’s performance is an eclectic creation, it refers to various styles and conventions. The show is made up of scenes in which the physicality of the population is contrasted with the actions of an individual, singing with emotional monologues, tragedy with comedy, unrealistic scenes mixed with parts full of psychological intensity, folk songs with opera arias. THE MARK OF KAIN overwhelms with the accumulation of symbols and cultural tracks, filled with biblical and mythological references. It is steeped in the familiar East Slavic folklore thanks to the costumes , which use elements from the original traditional Łowicz dresses, but also by creating scenes straight from Wyspianski’s "Wedding". (...)
In Brennan’s performance one can also feel the spirit of romance and an element of existential anxiety. Contemporary symbols are mixed with elements of traditional culture, not just Slavic, but also more distant, Maori culture. The created reality becomes an carnivalesque in Bachtin’s understanding of this word. (...)
The performance in "Gardzienice" should therefore be read as a story of people marked by hatred, disease and crime .... in Brennan’s performance everybody is marked.
'Marked', Ewa Maria Kazmierczak, THEATRE 1/2013
Music: Michał Żak, Szczepan Pospieszalski
Premiere cast: Joanna Holcgreber, Ilona Zgiet, Michał Zgiet, Daniel Admaczyk, Joanna Belzyt, Basia Ciemięga, Anna Getka, Lia Ikkos-Serrano, Anna Sadowska, Jan Żórawski, Martin Quintela
Musicians: Damian Borowiec, Małgorzata Krasowska, Maksymilian Wosk, Jarosław Adamów, Elżbieta Wolińska, Choir of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin
Producer: Włodzimierz Staniewski, Centre for Theatre Practices "Gardzienice"
*James Brennan, an Australian actor, came to Gardzienice in 2008 to take part in the annual course for foreign artists, after which, with additional training from Włodzimierz Staniewski, the director of "Gardzienice" Theatre asked him to join the cast of the Theatre. In the years 2008-2013 he played in the performances such as ELEKTRA , IPHIGENIA in A..., IPHIGENIA in T..., PYTHIAN ORATORY. An offer to direct the performance with the Alumni of the Academy for Theatre Practices "Gardzienice" and artists collaborating with the Centre is a part of a long-term project called "Gardzienice" - generator of theatrical energy.