Krum is a Polish production, produced by the TR Warazawa company. The script (1972, by Hanoch Levin, Polish) concerns a bunch of people living their lives mindlessly. Among the other effects of the fall of Communism was, apparently, a proliferation of Eurotrash. The characters act like they're drugged out, although we have no evidence that they are. As one woman tells the other, discussing their prospects, "They're the men we were given and they're the ones we have to take." And the women are no better. "Remember the ugliness of our lives", another character says later, and we can see what he's talking about. Krum and his friends court carelessly, marry arbitrarily, and dress like Halloween.
The vision of Polish society is so bleak that the play's only meaningful development comes when the hypochondriac discovers that he is, in fact, dying. His wife abandons him. Only when Krum attends to his dying friend is there a spark of the spirit.
Director Krzystof Warlikowski has taken an uninspired script and drained it of all tension, padding it with silence and dragging it out to two-and-three-quarters-hours-without-intermission. They actors often face us, and even when they don't, they don't communicate with one another. They're lifeless cartoons, and they behave as if they've been assigned mannerisms.
Warlikowski has thrown in some gimmicks to liven things up. One character, roaming the audience, speaks into a microphone. Because the playwright was Jewish, there's some nonsense about Tel Aviv projected on a screen over the stage, nothing to do with the play. A couple in the audience pose for a photo with the characters, and an actor hands us a pie. But none of this can help this plodding, heavy-handed production, in which characters yell to make a point.
To make matters worse, the set and costume designs make us want to close our eyes. Tightly.
The problem is that no one loves the characters - not the playwright, not the director, and worst of all, not the actors.
- Steve Capra
|Take me back to the Reviews page, s'il-vous-plait!|