Tr Warszawa, Dybbuk

Review in Issue 20-4 | Winter 2008

Mourning the loss of Aurora Nova and the consequent depletion of richness in physical, visual and international work in the Fringe, a piece of work in the International Festival stood out: TR Warszawa’s Dybbuk directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, and adapted by him from a play and a short story combined into one piece.

Remarkable in this piece was how spacious it felt. Though it is perhaps unfair to contrast this high-budget work with that on the Fringe, it is a criticism of the system rather than the work to say that after seeing dozens of Fringe shows packed into vans to be unloaded in back rooms and crammed into hour-long timeslots, Dybbuk actually had a chance to breathe. This in contradiction to its subject matter: the choking from within of the victim by a malignant spirit, affecting both its subject and the wider community. Warlikowski’s production is expansive, seeming to have endless time for stories to be told and atmospheres to build. The use of all the depth and width available at the King’s Theatre enhances this sense of an opened-out experience, while the thrumming, murmuring, sometimes subconscious underscore offers intimations of infinity. The pace of the piece is also elongated – sometimes too much so, so that the attention can wander, reminding us that Warlikowski, a student of Krystian Lupa, is perhaps not yet as masterful in his art as his teacher. Overall, however, the inhabited, mature performance of all the cast, married with a host of extraordinary moments – and the most beautiful projection I have seen used in live theatre – gave Dybbuk the savour of a dish cooked with care and served in style.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-4
p. 35