June 26, 10:10AM
Just had breakfast – cocoa puffs again, and the strange Poland milk. The bunks last night weren’t too pleasant, and I half-jokingly recall hearing distant gunfire through our windows last night.
Probably just my imagination.
Tamara is handing out tickets for the shows: La Menzogna and Caligula. She also tells us that it’s going to be hot and humid for the next few days. Oh well, at least there isn’t a garbage strike to stink it up.
We hit the streets and started to explore.
Just got my official program for the Malta! Festival. Wow! Lots of big names in this festival – and not just theatre, but bands too!
Nine Inch Nails! Jane’s Addiction! Snow Patrol! Radiohead! Unfortunately, we’re not saying long enough to see Radiohead or Jane’s, and we’ve already missed NIN – but Snow Patrol is on tonight. I’ll bet that the tickets for them will have been sold out far in advance, but it still might be worth checking out.
Just finished eating a nice, simple, spaghetti and tortellini meal at a pasta bar.
Everybody is talking about Michael Jackson.
The structure for today seems pretty relaxed. I’m not exactly sure what’s on the itinerary. I think I’m just going to tag along with the group I’m in and see what happens.
All the stores we’re going into today are playing Michael Jackson; mourning the death of the King of Pop. People are carrying radios, and playing his music out loud.
It’s chilly and windy today. Where was that humidity that Tamara promised? I didn’t bring my jacket, and now I’m freezing.
We spent the last few hours walking around, eating, drinking, and talking:
Along the way, I met a nice Polish dog. The owner was kind enough to let me pet her:
My throat is getting worse. Bleh. I think I’m going to go back to the hostel and take a nap.
Just woke up from my nap. Skipped this Guerilla Walk thing that we had the option of doing today. Not sure what that is, but Tamara and Peter are raving about it. Anyhow, glad I took the nap. I’m feeling a bit better.
Just had some, you guessed it, pirogies! Pretty good – very filling!
Our next stop is our first show in Poznan, called La Menzogna. The theatre is a 20 minute hike from the hostel.
The cigarette smoke from the crowd outside the theatre isn’t helping my throat much. Cough cough cough.
LA MENZOGNA by PIPPO DELBONO
The theatre space was cavernous – it reminded me of either a large gymnasium, or a small aircraft hanger. There were bleachers, and cushions on the ground in front of the bleachers to face the stage.
Initially, I sat on the cushions but eventually decided to migrate to the bleachers – it was going to be a long show, and I’d need the back support.
As usual, I’m a bit at a loss to describe this show.
First off, I went in (and came out) not really knowing what it was talking about or trying to say.
And that’s not only because it wasn’t in English.
Months later, with the help of the Internet, I am able to tell you what they were trying to do:
In December 2007, on Thyssen Krupp’s steel factory in Turin, a fire takes the lives of seven factory workers. From this tragic work accident, Pippo Delbono draws a theatrical, political and spiritual journey, in the line of his work, which combines theatre, dance, music and poetry, producing a unique stage language, which has brought him recognition from all over Europe. Delbono’s theatre is contaminated by life, raising questions he wants to share with the spectators, and a place of encounter and reflection on the nature of human being. La Menzogna aims to question human life’s dignity of and its place among our society.
As usual, reactions from my comrades were mixed. I found the whole thing rather silly. I believe the main character was supposed to be some sort of frightening ringmaster. He did “edgy” things like coming into the audience, waving a lead pipe around, and snapping pictures of us…invading our space. I found him rather boring and impotent.
And then there was the nudity. At this point in the trip, I’d seen a lot of nudity on stage – both male, and female.
And you know what? I get it. I see what you did there. You got all vulnerable for me. Thanks.
The lead character got all naked, and it was almost as if he was saying to me, “Look! Look how vulnerable I just became for you! Look at what I’m giving you! BASK IN IT!”.
After the show, we walked back towards the hostel. We stopped by a restaurant for a late dinner – it was Peter’s last night with us (he would be taking a train to Warsaw at 6AM the next morning and flying back to Toronto to prepare the Playhouse for the Fringe festival), so we all hung out with him to say our farewells.
The whole time, my throat was getting worse and worse. The restaurant was engulfed in cigarette smoke.
I eventually left, and went back to the hostel to sleep.