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A lesson in directing from Tadeusz Łomnicki


Subsequent theatre plays
Andrzej Wajda Film-maker
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But when Zygmunt Hubner suggested that I should stay in his theatre and continue working, I'd already caught the theatre bug and had decided to direct Hamlet. I set about this undertaking with enthusiasm, it was going to be my next play and I was counting on one of our best known actors, Gustaw Holoubek, taking the lead role but he later disappointed us for various reasons and decided against working with me, so I had to work with other actors instead. I designed the sets and the costumes for this play, too, and I think that in this respect, it was a refreshing play because this Hamlet suddenly became a play flowing from the spirit of Gothic and not, as the world sees it, from the 17th century. However, it wasn't a success for me and it was quickly followed by Two on a Swing. I went back to doing what I knew how to do well, namely, to theatre born of film and of daily reality. After that I went back to a different sort of theatre, The Athenaeum Theatre, where I directed Two on a Swing and Whiting's Demons. It was a play about pressure by the Church, but it wasn't very successful.

Ale równocześnie, kiedy Zygmunt Hubner zaproponował mi, żebym został w jego teatrze i pracował dalej, we mnie już wstąpił duch, że tak powiem, teatralny i postanowiłem wyreżyserować Hamleta. Jako drugą sztukę porwałem się na takie przedsięwzięcie, w dodatku jeszcze liczyłem, że Hamleta będzie grał jeden z najbardziej znanych naszych aktorów Gustaw Holoubek, który potem nas z różnych powodów zawiódł i nie zdecydował się ze mną pracować, w związku z tym musiałem pracować z innym aktorem. To przedstawienie... też robiłem sam scenografię i kostiumy. Myślę, że od tej strony to było odświeżające przedstawienie, dlatego że ten Hamlet nagle stał się takim przedstawieniem jakby taki z ducha gotyku wypływał, a nie tak jak się go widzi jako świat XVII-wieczny. Ale nie było to... nie było to moje osiągnięcie, potem właśnie to szybko nastapiło Dwoje na huśtawce, znowu wróciłem, że tak powiem, do tego, co umiałem dobrze robić, to znaczy teatr... teatr taki zrodzony z filmu, z rzeczywistości codziennej. Potem znowu wróciłem do teatru innego, do Teatr Ateneum, tam gdzie robiłem Dwoje na huśtawce. Zrobiłem jeszcze Demony Whitinga. Taka sztuka o presji kościoła. Ale ona też niespecjalnie mi się udała.

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) was a towering presence in Polish cinema for six decades. His films, showing the horror of the German occupation of Poland, won awards at Cannes and established his reputation as both story-teller and commentator on Poland's turbulent history. As well as his impressive career in TV and film, he also served on the national Senate from 1989-91.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.

Tags: Hamlet, Two on a Swing, Atheneaum Theatre, The Devils, Zygmunt Hubner, Gustaw Holubek, Harold Whiting

Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008