As You Always Do
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 21–Sat 24 May
Behind the stories of the media there are truths that we will never see. When we view reports of murders, disappearances and wars, our perspective is controlled by the scripting, editing and camera angle. Without being a witness, it can be hard to see those involved as real people; so when sensationalist gossip spreads, who can remember the human tragedy at the heart of it all? Inspired by, among others, the story of Angelika Kluk, murdered in Glasgow in 2006, Polish-Scottish company Gappad have created a bilingual piece of physical theatre with that question at its core.
It follows the story of an anonymous woman who, in her absence, is judged and punished by society. Performer and co-director Agnieszka Bresler explains the concept of the company. ‘The idea is to create work that could be seen by a Polish person sitting next to a Scottish person, and they would both understand it, even though they couldn’t have a conversation. It asks the same questions whether you’re Polish, Scottish, or even Chinese’.
As was evident in their previous production, RE:ID, performed at the Tron and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, Gappad place great emphasis on cultivating their Polish roots and are heavily influenced by pioneering Polish theatre-maker Jerzy Grotowski.
‘It goes along with his notion of Poor Theatre,’ says Bresler. ‘We do not have any props or set design. It’s very physical and very fast.’ While RE:ID addressed themes of immigration and identity, this play will continue with the company’s aim to explore topics that are culturally relevant to both Poles and Scots, and give us all something to think about. ‘Through the play we try to ask, what gives us the right to judge somebody,’ notes Bresler. ‘And how much do we depend on what the modern media tells us?’
We learn everything from our 24-hour news channel, but should we make the choice between their perspective or no perspective at all? Bresler explains that they just want people to think. ‘We’re hoping for some eyes to be opened, and maybe the next time something tragic happens, people won’t make such quick judgements.’