Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski

Seven Lectures and Five Moral Tales

Premiere: 11.04.2024 Main Hall English subtitles Play duration: 4 hours with a break

Upcoming dates

Seven Lectures and Five Moral Tales

Premiere: 11.04.2024 Main Hall English subtitles Play duration: 4 hours with a break

Upcoming dates

The writer Elizabeth Costello first appeared in 1999 when John Maxwell Coetzee was invited to give two lectures at university in the United States. Those lectures concerned a writer, Elizabeth Costello, who is invited to give two lectures at a university in the United States. In the years that followed, Coetzee went on to write several more pieces featuring Elizabeth Costello and her biography began to expand until, in 2003, she became the protagonist of an eponymous novel.

Elizabeth Costello is more than a made-up literary character. She might be said to be Coetzee's artistic alter ego: someone who speaks in his name and bears the criticism and ire of his readers and academic polemicists. According to Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello elbows her way into his imagination and onto the page, then uses his voice to speak about philosophy, the environment and social and existential issues, and appeal to our conscience by drawing attention to the fate of animals, social injustice, and the exclusion of the elderly and the infirm. Appearing in texts the author had never intended for her to be in, she is like a ghost, a revenant – a dybbuk, perhaps. Or maybe she is just a beloved creature who keeps returning to haunt her maker.

Costello has also come to be a recurring character in Krzysztof Warlikowski's theatre. She has appeared in five of his productions to date – sometimes speaking under her own name, sometimes being quoted by other characters. But while she seems to haunt Warlikowski nearly as often as she does the writer who called her to life, she has never had a whole play devoted to her.

Now, in placing Elizabeth Costello firmly at the center of his latest production, Warlikowski is taking the next logical step in a process whose development he might not have foreseen when he first gave her a platform on his stage.

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Cultural Promotion Funds – a state purpose fund

Cast

Guest cast

  • Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak
  • Hiroaki Murakami
  • Maja Komorowska
  •  
  •  
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Information

Direction: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Set design and costumes: Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Lighting design: Felice Ross
Text based on J.M. Coetzee’s “Elizabeth Costello”, “Slow Man”, “Moral Tales”: Krzysztof Warlikowski, Piotr Gruszczyński
Collaboration: Łukasz Chotkowski, Mateusz Górniak, Anna Lewandowska
Dramaturgy: Piotr Gruszczyński
Artistic collaboration: Claude Bardouil
Music: Paweł Mykietyn
Video and animations: Kamil Polak
Make up: Monika Kaleta

Cast: Mariusz Bonaszewski, Magdalena Cielecka, Andrzej Chyra, Ewa Dałkowska, Bartosz Gelner, Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak, Maja Komorowska, Hiroaki Murakami, Maja Ostaszewska, Ewelina Pankowska, Jacek Poniedziałek, Magdalena Popławska

premiere: April 11, 2024

estimated duration: 4 hours, one intermission

The show is in Polish, subtitled in English and French
Translation into French: Margot Carlier
Translation into English: Artur Zapałowski

Production: Nowy Teatr, Warsaw
Co-production: Schauspiel Stuttgart, Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre de Liège, La Colline – théâtre national, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Athens Epidaurus Festival, Malta Festival Poznań 2024
Partners: Kinoteka, IAM, Culture.pl, Institut Français de Pologne, Arctic Paper

Adam Mickiewicz Institute is the main partner of the European 2024/2025 tour

The performance uses excerpts from the following literary works:
J.M. Coetzee "Elizabeth Costello" translated into Polish by Zbigniew Batko
J.M. Coetzee "Slow Man" translated into Polish by Magdalena Konikowska
J.M. Coetzee "As a Woman Grows Older", "Vanity", "The Glass Abattoir" translated into Polish by Jacek Poniedziałek

Copyright for "Elizabeth Costello" © 2003 by J.M. Coetzee
Copyright for "Slow Man" © 2005 by J.M. Coetzee
Copyright for "Moral Tales" © 2017 by J.M. Coetzee
Copyright for "Interview" © 2018 by J.M. Coetzee; Soledad Costantini
Arranged by the Peter Lampack Agency, Inc.  

Philippe Parreno "Anywhere Out of the World" (2000)


Sophie Calle "La dernière image", Istanbul 2010 translated into Polish by Agata Kozak
Sophie Calle "Des histoires vraies" © Actes Sud, Arles 2018 translated into Polish by Agnieszka Grudzińska
Sophie Calle "North Pole", 2009
Franz Kafka "Report to the Academy" translated into Polish by Juliusz Kydryński
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Faust" translated into Polish by Jacek St. Buras
Frances Farmer "God is Dying", 1931

Excerpts from the following musical works were used in the performance:
Paweł Mykietyn "Symphony Nº2" performed by the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Michelle Gurevich "First Six Months of Love"

The following photographs were used in the performance:
Gustaf Gründgens, photo by ÖNB / Vienna
Veit Harlan, 1942, photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images
Joseph Goebbels presents professorial appointments to Veit Harlan and Wolfgang Liebneiner, 1943, photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images
Ferdinand Marian in the role of Prince Konstantin in the film "Die Stimme des Herzens", 1937, photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images
Heinz Rühmann, postcard with an image from the film "Bachelor's Paradise", 1939

The visual identity of the performace uses photographs from the series:
Sophie Calle "North Pole", 2009

Trigger warnings: strobe light, loud sound, animal imitation objects

Tournee

  • 5-7 June 2024 Athens Epidaurus Festival
  • 6-7 July 2024 Grec Festival, Barcelona
  • 16-17, 19-21 July 2024 Festival d’Avignon
  • 29 November-1 December 2024 Theatre de Liège

Calendar

July 06

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
48. Grec Festival, Barcelona (Hiszpania)

July 07

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
48. Grec Festival, Barcelona (Hiszpania)

July 16

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
78. Festival d’Avignon, Awinion (Francja)

July 17

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
78. Festival d’Avignon, Awinion (Francja)

July 19

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
78. Festival d’Avignon, Awinion (Francja)

July 20

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
78. Festival d’Avignon, Awinion (Francja)

July 21

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
78. Festival d’Avignon, Awinion (Francja)

September 26

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

September 27

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

September 28

Sold out

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

September 29

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

October 03

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

October 04

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

October 05

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

October 06

Elizabeth Costello | J.M. Coetzee

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

See also

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