| City magazine - maj 2002 | Gazeta Wyborcza - 21 luty |
| Gazeta Wyborcza - 26 luty | Teatr marzec - 2002 | Tygodnik Powszechny |
"....and suddenly I saw an angel"

1. Why is it so good? And why do I like it so much? These are rare questions after leaving the theatre, because more often than not I ask why it is so bad and why I dislike it so much. But usually I ask no questions because the performance is so perfectly neutral that I do not feel like asking.. But this time I do feel like asking and there is something worth asking. This something is a bit troublesome: there is no denying that I am leaving the theatre, but am I leaving the performance? What was it that I saw while in fact listening? And what was it that I listened to while watching?
2. This is what I could listen to (I have written it down the way I heard it):

I was home alone
when suddenly I saw an angel
flying among the clouds
I saw him from a distance
but he was big
he was white
white clothes
and white wings
he had no shoes
but he had a sword instead
because it was Archangel Gabriel
he protects God with his sword
he approached my window / he flew to my window
and I saw him - so large
I got terribly frightened
because I had never seen an angel like that
but then I took a closer look
and stopped being afraid
he looked interesting
and he was very nice
in his face that is
he said nothing
only stood and watched
it lasted for about an hour
and then he flew back to heaven
he must have had an appointment

3. Can anyone doubt that it is poetry in its purest form? What does poetry mean anyway? Brandstaetter once wrote beautifully that not everything that is a prayer is a prayer, and that a prayer does not have to be a prayer... It is true about poetry, too: poems sung and recited on the stage of the Studio Theatre have not been written by poets. But still their authors are poets, perhaps experiencing poetry deeper than many professional writers. Who are they? They are young people with celebral palsy. Almost all of them have at one point attended a rehabilitation centre in Kraków. It is clear that writing is for them a form of therapy, but when we look at what they write beyond its therapeutical usefulness we see how literature emerges: poetic space of incredible associations, surrealistic imagination, whimsical sense of humour, intense experiences, joy, suffering and hope. If we delight in it, it is not because we, the healthy (?) look with empathy and care at them, the sick (?); if we delight in it, it is because we care, we are moved and made to laugh by the expression of another human being, locked in an artistic form, the way we are moved by poetry and art in general.
4.I do not know how Wojciech Waglewski came across those poems: the fact is that he illustrated them with wonderful music and inspired the performance or something resembling a theatrical concert entitled Music with Words. It owes its theatre-like quality to the two actors Maria and Jan Peszek, the arrangement of the space and very descreet but obvious presence of the director - Piotr Cieplak. The atmosphere is, of course, dominated by the music performed live by Waglewski and Voo Voo (acoustic quartet, except the lead guitar, consisting of a bass, drums and acordeon plus a few different saxophones and flutes). Simple, melodic themes grow into long improvisations, which seem to dominate the performance for a few minutes. The music - alternating between delicate lyricisim and extatic dynamism is balanced by words, sung or recited by the actors, sometimes in a complete silence, like the poem about the angel quoted above. The actors make no attempts at creating characters or dramatic situations: they use words to present poetic worlds, which appear on the stage like epiphanies - intense, short and surprising. Actors use the proscenium and a platform running along the stage, close to its middle. The musician are palced in front of the platform. The set designer uses predominantly light, which seems to be blooming - from darkness and blackness to very warm colours; they have their equivalents in geometric blue, orange and red ornaments, which gradually emerge from the darkness, creating a colourful frame around the platform. The director's task was, I think, to give this verbal and musical enterprise a stylistic unity and emotional tension. It may not seem much , but this performance is a moving and beautiful surrender of the theatre or rather theatricality before poetry and music. It testifes to the sensitivity, tenderness, delicacy and humbleness and a few other features, which in fact decide about the quality of art.

Janusz Majcherek TEATR