He sacrificed relationships and created a sensation. My Struggle opens Divadelná Nitra

21.09.2018 06:09

One of the most significant Polish theatre companies TR Warszawa and their spectacular production My Struggle in two weeks – on Friday, September 28th – opens the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra 2018. The production is created by the well-known Polish director Michał Borczuch. When his Apocalypse opened Divadelná Nitra Festival three years ago, both critics and audience admitted that it was a tremendous success.

My Struggleis a theatre adaptation of autobiographical best-selling series of the Norwegian author Karel Ove Knausgård Min Kamp.Borczuch with the theatre company Warszawa transformedsix volumes and about 3,600 book pages into a magnificent production, which belongs to one of the most valued and disputable piece of work of the season in Poland.

“With the playing company, accustomed to create non dramatic situations on the stage in a way that is so exciting for the spectator, the director and his team created the fascinating stage work, which competes in its innovation with Knausgård's novel,” says Ján Šimko, one of the curators of the Divadelná Nitra programme. "Borczuch does not bring a classic drama on the stage, but with a help of elements and formal innovations of the novel creates the production,  where by theatrical means asks those questions, which cannot be asked by the novel,” he continues.

Karl Ove Knausgård, on many pages of his extensive fresco, literally describes even the most trivial acts of cleaning, shopping, feeding children, or a regular phone conversation. Such an attempt to grasp the life that escapes from the man has become almost instantly a literary sensation. Perfect authenticity of the most intimate details, however, inevitably led to that fact, that Knausgård sacrificed his own interpersonal relationships, including a family.

"Others can be very close to us, they can be part of the family, but when confronted with our ego, they are reduced to characters in the novel," says the director of the production Michał Borczuch, who, while adapting and staging the work, logically tried to work with everyday situations and, at the same time, experimented with a theatrical form. "Knausgård appeals to us to produce literature from our lives. But here is a paradox: when our life becomes more significant, any other life – even if it is presented in minute details – becomes anonymous," he continues.

Based on a literary text so focused on the self-exploration, My Struggle eventually tells about the tendency of self-representation and the closely related loss of privacy that accompanies lives of individuals on social networks. The inclusion of the work in the Divadelná Nitra programme clearly shows, how the most meaningful festival of performing arts in Slovakia examines, records and anticipates the state of society in its programme.

Within the thematic play with prefixes and syllables, the festival attributed the term REminiscence to the production.

"The staged version of  My Struggle is about our desire for normality, for the real life that we are looking for in more or less masked fiction," wrote Witold Mrozek, a leading Polish critic in the review for Gazeta Wyborcza. 

Festival supported by