- January 7, 2013
The centenary of “Pohulanka” Vilnius Theatre
The auditorium of “Pohulanka” Vilnius Theatre has not been completely filled up with people for ages. It was a very special occasion because on January 4 the theatre inaugurated the celebrations of its 100th anniversary. The theatre began its activity on October 12, 1913. The patronage over the celebrations, which are extremely important for members of the Polish community in Vilnius, has been taken by Waldemar Tomaszewski, a member of the European Parliament and the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie; AWPL].
Two Vilnius amateur theatre companies prepared their performances in celebration of the event: “Studio Teatralne” presented a première of Ireneusz Iredyński’s play titled “Kreacja” directed by Lilija Kiejzik, and “Teatr Polski” performed a preview of Inka Dowlasz’s comedy titled “Pułapki miłości” directed by Irena Litwinowicz and the author of the play herself.
Waldemar Tomaszewski delivered a speech before the performance. Speaking about the centenary of the theatre, he mentioned a significant fact of its history, “This building was built by Poles partially thanks to contributions and donations. “Pohulanka” Vilnius Theatre has always been here”.
It is a well known fact that since 1926 the building has been the property of a company “Korwin-Milewski, Bohdanowicz, Zawadzki i S-ka” in Vilnius.
On September 9, 1927, the building was donated to the city authorities under a particular condition distinguished in a black type in the Deed of Gift, “According to the will of the donors, “The buidling of the theatre shall be used to perform theatrical performances, deliver speeches and lectures, organize meetings exclusively in Polish language”.
The audience awarded the politician’s speech with a round of applause. Enthusiastic exclamations like “Thank you for the elections!”, “Let’s regain our theatre!” and “This theatre must be ours!” were heard.
Waldemar Tomaszewski gave them such an answer, “In 1912 Poles built this building, in 2012 they won the parliamentary elections and now they have a few of their members in the Seimas as well as a minister and four vice-ministers in the Cabinet. Moreover, they have a group of councillors in the Council of Vilnius. Therefore, they can apply to regain “Pohulanka” Vilnius Theatre”.
It is worth stressing that almost all members and ministers of the recently elected parliament and Cabinet were present at the inauguration.
The curtain goes up! On the stage a poor painter is working on a few copies of well known masterpieces. His name is Jan Nowak. Neither is he known nor is he popular. He suffers form mental disorders. The role of Nowak is played by Witold Rudzianiec, a talented actor of “Studio Teatralne”, who has already acted a few successful roles.
The author of the play, Ireneusz Iredyński (1939 – 1985), lived in Kraków and Warsaw. He worked in the early period of socialism in Poland. He was not understood and approved of. He stressed a few times that he wrote about moral violence against an individual, a phenomenon which was later called “Captivation of mind”. Iredyński wrote “Kreacja” in 1984.
Jan Nowak encounters a certain person who transforms the talented painter into a thoughtless being and calls him “Nikt” [English: “Nobody”]. The mysterious art dealer names himself “Pan” [English: a Polish word which refers to unknown man but also to someone who has power]. Robert Alukonis acted the role of “Pan” very well. “Pan” constantly demands new paintings of the painter but actually he buys souls of the painter and his friend Gosia who becomes his mistress. Gosia played by Agnieszka Śnieżko is full of femininity but also suffers form the betrayal of the beloved master. The grand finale of the play is extremely tragic. “Nikt” created by “Pan” kills him which is a sign of his rebirth.
“Pułapki miłości”, a play prepared by “Teatr Polski” few months ago, was more optimistic. Inka Dowlasz, a contemporary director with a quite big experience and author of many dramas, said, “Let’s imagine that in various places around the world theatrical plays, like plants, are planted in a particular type of soil”. “Pułapki miłości” grew form “the soil” of observation, astonishment, delight and imagination. The plot of the play revolves around the love of an elderly man (a great role of Mieczysław Dwilewicz) to a young divorced woman named Ola played by Inesa Starkowska. All popular actors of the theatre participated in the play, including Danuta Sosnowska, Danuta Sielicka, Renata Szymanel and emotional Bożena Simonavičiutė. Rafał Pieślak who played the role of Rudolf was also very convincing. The stage son of Ola played by Kubuś Andruszkiewicz was marvellous. Without a shadow of doubt, children are amazing actors.
Summing up, the Vilnius audience got great satisfaction form watching the beautiful inauguration of the celebrations of “Pohulanka” Vilnius Theatre 100th anniversary.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.