My head is still spinning. And so what. Nothing still.
The opening night of the Bull took place, despite the Szczepan’s – and not only his – fleeting doubts as to whether it was a good time for opening nights. In the end, Szczepan – and some others – concluded that it was a time not worse than any other. I concur. To think that – at any time in recent times, or ever before – there has not been an abundance of reasons to regard theatre, or film, or music, or literature, as a whim that is an affront to common decency in the face of the immensity of omnipresent tragedy would be hypocritical and foolish. Just as to think that any attempts at continuing the relative “normality” (which is always precisely relative, shaky and debatable in infinite ways and, above all, local) of any kind belittles the tragedy. It neither belittles nor lends anything; it is simply a manifestation and testimony (a touching, and sometimes shocking, I believe) of humanity. Without these attempts we are a reptilea and a gorilla. I admire and deeply respect reptiles and gorillas, but I allow myself to see my role in the world differently. By the way, war is yet another manifestation of humanity.
But, in any case, the Bull has seen the light of day. However small my contribution to the final outcome is, being involved in the process of giving the Bull its final shape on stage was a very intense and instructive experience for me. Of course I knew that dramatic theatre is governed by different laws than opera, but having looked at it more closely, I am amazed. Above all, I am amazed at the extent to which everything here ultimately depends on the actor and that actor’s subtle bond with the live audience; and at how far what can be called “work” is fluid here and how it crystallises over and over again, and slightly differently with each successive staging. A dramatic performance goes beyond the text, beyond the stage design, not to mention the music, which – as I now see clearly – must be as open as possible to this extreme fluidity and crystalline changeability, so to speak. Any attempts to capture a clear-cut genre must also be fluid and debatable. I had no idea how much the complex context of the outside world and the micro-world of a specific, one-off group of people who happened to be in the audience together could determine whether something could be considered comedy or quite the opposite. In short, performance is perhaps the most ephemeral form of art. A performance does not exist outside its successive incarnations, here and now, in one given room and on one given stage.
Meanwhile, I finished Dookoła klombu [Around the flowerbed] and I pushed Baśń [The Tale] a little forward. All I can do now is push forward with this, as if the world could end tomorrow.
I visited a swamp, one that differs slightly from my day to day experience. I jumped in, I was about to reach the bottom, but I floated up to the top. Having crawled ashore with difficulty, I was lying there for a longer while, catching my breath. I dried out in the sun quite quickly. Hardly anyone noticed.
(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)