Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Grosvenor’

To be honest, I found this new Polish play somewhat dated and pretentious. Very 70’s.

The story revolves around Marysia, who becomes pregnant as a teenager after being raped and whose secret abortion is performed by gynecologist and family friend Jan. She ends up working for and sleeping with Jan before visiting his son Piotr studying in London and falling in love with him. It is occasionally absurd and surreal (including Maryisa imagining herself as the Virgin Mary), there’s a lot of alcohol induced falling about and a cake with a baby on top I was forever in fear would be crushed.

It moves back and forth in time over 20+ years from when Marysia is 4 to her 20’s and moves from Warsaw to London, but is mostly set in the small Polish town of Niepokalanow on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Church music is playing before we enter the space, which is laid out like a church with a central aisle and a recessed cross at one end in Max Jones clever design.

Abortion is the subject of Anna Wakulik’s play, translated by Catherine Grosvenor. It was legal in Poland under communism, despite its Catholicism, but abortions weren’t very acceptable or open. They are ironically illegal in democratic Poland but are performed (at great expense) by doctors like Jan who sees the gravy train as soon as the law is passed. The trouble is, it’s not clear what she’s trying to say about it except ‘this is all a mess’.

Sinead Matthews, Max Bennett and Owen Teale do their best, but it just isn’t a good enough play to engage or satisfy and Caroline Stienbeis’ dated staging compounds the issue.

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