Traveling to Moscow is not an issue anymore since you can fly to the Russian capital for 99 euros. Today the daughters of General Prozorov, the title characters of Chekhov’s drama, no longer miss big city. It is the time of their youth that they are longing for. Low cost airlines do not run in this direction. You can only get there on board of your own uncertain memory.
In the vision of Luk Perceval, The Three Sisters is a portrait of an aging Europe that does not want to give in to the passage of time. The routine of the title heroines’ daily existence is interrupted by an attempt to recall events from the past. In a metaphorical nursing home, aging Europe confronts the new energy of immigrants. What results from this meeting? What are the political and social consequences of the aging of entire societies? How do we deal with old age, memory loss? In what way do we construct and idealise the past?
The theme of the passing of life, characteristic of Chekhov’s dramaturgy, has never been as current as it is today, when the old world order collapses and the new one has not yet developed. The pandemic has added another aspect to problem of aging: the isolation of older people. The Prozorow sisters are shipwrecked prisoners on the island of memory. They live in the past, unable to confront the present. What are they afraid of and what do they miss? What are we afraid of and longing for?
based on “Three Sisters” by Anton Chekhov
adaptation, directed by: Luk Perceval | stage design, video: Philip Bussmann | costumes: Annelies Vanlaere | lights direction: Mark Van Denesse | music: Karol Nepelski | script translation: Karolina Bikont | dramaturgy cooperation: Roman Pawłowski | director’s assistants: Alek Niemiro, Aleksandra Śliwińska | literary assistant: Jacek Telenga | costume designer’s assistant: Karolina Bramowicz | set manager: Karolina Pająk-Sieczkowska | stage manager: Wojciech Sobolewski
Jacek Berler, Zygmunt Józefczak, Natalia Kalita, Rafał Maćkowiak, Maria Maj, Jacek Romanowski, Małgorzata Zawadzka, Mirosław Zbrojewicz, Oksana Czerkaszyna or Marta Ojrzyńska
production: TR Warszawa
co-produced by: The Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theatre in Cracow
date of the premiere:
Cracow: 21.05.2021, The Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theatre in Krakow
Warsaw: 20.062021, TR Warszawa/ATM Studio
Support from the COVID-19 Counteract Fund
partner of the performance: Flandres State of Art
In the original, the declining existence concerns the existence of concrete people, and at the same time, a passing away cultural formation or social class – the Russian nobility, while in Perceval’s work it becomes a mechanism of playing out the same scenario from the fading memory, a cultural pattern, and looking at it – and at the same time, at ourselves, because without a cultural pattern there is no us.
Witold Mrozek, Wyborcza.pl
Maybe it is a spectacle about aging Poles, who today constitute the margin of Europe and, living in a grotesque cardboard state, see their imaginary power and imaginary meaning in the mirror? Or maybe more broadly: about an aging Europe, staring at the illusion of its power and strength, stuck on the periphery of the world, where what is important now takes place on completely different stages? Or maybe it is simply a spectacle about contemporary man, who cannot find his place in a world composed of false narratives?
Tomasz Domagała, domagalasiekultury.pl
LUK PERCEVAL is a Flemish actor and director. After studying at the Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp, he began working as an actor with the Koninklijke Nederlandse Schouwburg (KNS). In 1984, together with Guy Joosten, he founded the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie (BMC) in Gent. In 1998, he became artistic director of Het Toneelhuis, a merger of the BMC in Gent and the KNS in Antwerp. Since 2005 he has directed mainly in Germany: first as resident director at Berlin’s Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, then as principal director of Thalia Theater in Hamburg (2009–2014). Since 2019, he has been an artist in residence at NTGent. His most important productions include: SCHLACHTEN! (Schauspiel Hamburg 1999), The Cherry Orchard (Schauspiel Hannover 2001), Dream of Autumn (Münchner Kammerspiele 2001), Das kalte Kind (Schaubühne Berlin 2002), Othello (Münchner Kammerspiele 2003), Tristan und Isolde (Staatsoper Stuttgart 2004). His recent productions include Zola Marathon (Ruhrtriennale, Thalia Theater, Hamburg 2017), Romeo and Juliet (BDT, St. Petersburg 2018), and the trilogy The Sorrows of Belgium (NTGent, 2019). In Poland, Luk Perceval’s plays have been presented as guest artists at international festivals in Gdansk, Cracow, Poznan, Torun, Warsaw and Wroclaw. So far, audiences in Poland have had the opportunity to see 10 of his productions: Dream of Autumn (2nd International Theatre Festival DIALOG-WROCLAW 2003), Uncle Vanya (3rd International Theatre Festival DIALOG-WROCLAW 2005), Othello (10th Shakespeare Festival, Gdansk 2006), Andromacha (II Intermedia Theatre Forum baz@rt, Cracow 2005), Death of a Salesman (17th International Theatre Festival Contact, Torun 2007), Penthesilea (I International Theatre Festival Warszawa Centralna, 2008), Troilus and Cressida (V International Theatre Festival DIALOG-WROCLAW, 2009), The Truth about the Kennedys (Malta Festival Poznan 2010), Hamlet (16th Shakespeare Festival, Gdansk 2012) and Macbeth (19th Shakespeare Festival, Gdansk 2015). 3STRS in TR Warszawa and The Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theatre in Cracow is first work of Luk Perceval realized with a Polish theatre company.