Liat Glick 88 248.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Noah's Ark - the End of the New Europe
Written and directed by Janusz Wisniewski
Written also by Michael Handelsaltz
International Theater Festival
Apocalypse with a whisper of redemption is the theme of what is a consciously extraordinary, very wryly witty, never less than challenging theatrical spectacle.
This ambitious production is a collaboration in six languages among the director's Nowy Theater in Poznan, Poland, four other European theaters and Israel, with each of the actors speaking his own language - Polish, Hebrew, German, Albanian and Italian.
"Fear and suffering is the ultimate reality of humanity..." reiterate four young women in unison at the beginning of Noah's Ark. Fear, suffering, death, cruelty, indifference and horror pervade this very singular retelling of the biblical flood, mitigated by an occasional moment of grace or tenderness.
We don't have much going for us in the way of ordinary decency anymore, the play contends, and if there's to be redemption, promised by a Hindi-speaking mystic, it's way down the line.
The execution is brilliant, imaginative, authoritative and moves to a near relentless syncopated beat. The same text, repeated by different characters (blissfully, there were English supertitles) achieves a whole new meaning. Whether Horses, Asses, a Bunny, the chilling Dr. Dix (aka Death) or another human/creature amalgamation, the characters are metaphors for human behaviors. The actors playing them are uniformly breathtaking.
Noah's Ark: uncomfortable, occasionally tedious, but never negligible.