BWW Review: THE QUEEN WILL ARRIVE TOMORROW at Teatr Wspolczesny Wroclaw
Beautiful island in the middle of the Ocean covers terrifying story. Small territory and only around 50 people leaving on it - they are descendants of rebels from "Bounty" ship that came to the island in 18th century and they made for themselves a place to live with their own rules. We know that there are a lot of societies in our modern world that we find their rules beyond our imagination - it's work for anthropologists, here, on the stage, we see evil and "power" of OUR.
A habit is our second nature and this is a story about rotten fruits of tradition in this paradise. They do what their fathers and grandads did - surprised that a stranger can come and say: "What you do is not right". We cannot be surprised that they are when someone dare come and judge them - even if we talk about rapes, pedophiles and incest. Unfortunately it's in their blood.
This is a story based on a brilliant reportage of Maciej Wasilewski which confront us with dark side of nature - and reveals what a person is able to do when nobody sees. To know more you should read the book (I highly recommend it!)- let's focus on the action and this play. The text itself is not an easy thing to work with because, in my opinion, imagination of a rider is essential. In the theatre there is less place for insight.
You can see people trying to have a normal life - watching stars, having fun, developing themselves, listen music and love but even then they try hard to escape the reality will catch them sooner or later.
The adaptation (Krzysztof Szekalski) and director (Piotr Lukaszczyk) made a story about isolation, evil and protection our vision of the world. It's not so shocking and moving like the book - but I think this is a good thing. Seating in the the theatre you cannot take a break whenever you like as during reading a book. It's more intimate but disturbing at the same time. This show will not take your breath away, dealing with harm and watching it is not a piece of cake. This is something you will not do voluntarily, but it's omnipresent whether we want it or not. Scenography (Michal Araszewicz) it's very symbolic: there is a closed circle of action (literally) which is hard to escape from and audience is sitting around the stage looking at others constantly - it's sort of mirror. What you would do at their places? What I would do?
The show is correct - without catharsis, without standing ovation, it's not powerful but I would be really afraid if it would. The subject itself is very difficult and not easy to watch - a forceful show would be a hardcore. Director says that the main subject is silence around evil and this is what you would like to do after time spent in the theatre - stay silent and process what you had seen realizing how evil can be mute.
Photo: Natalia Kabanow