2012 Forefathers’ Eve – Adam Mickiewicz


Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) is one of the finest Polish romantic dramas. It is a national, historical and patriotic drama, yet also shows the drama of individuals caught up in the making of history.

The action takes place in Vilnus, Lithuania, and in Warsaw, Poland in the first half of nineteenth Century. It follows the story of protagonist Conrad, a romantic poet, who is unjustly imprisoned by the Russians who were occupying Poland during this time. He becomes a martyr who is prepared to give up everything for his country and his people. The remaining characters are chiefly prisoners, accused of conspiracy against the conqueror.

There are three loosely linked scenes, and dramatic images are interspersed with threads of black humor and the grotesque. The title itself refers to an ancient Slavic and Lithuanian feast commemorating the dead. The author dedicated this work to people fighting for freedom in the 1830s insurrection, especially those who were exiled to Siberia by the Russian occupants. Mickiewicz brings back the hope of Polish independence and gives a great picture of Polish society at such a difficult moment in history.

In this adaptation, we move away from the concrete historical realities of the nineteenth century to underline the universality of Mickiewicz’s work. We delve deep into the text to bring out the struggles between good and evil, truth and falsehood, humility and pride.

Thus, Forefathers’ Eve in this adaptation explores universal questions such as: What does freedom really mean? How far am I prepared to compromise? How much can I let power corrupt me? How strong must faith be to triumph over evil? And finally, how do I endure the hardships of a tragic destiny?

Premiere: 24 March 2012, St Joseph’s Hall, Maylands


Konrad: Grzegorz Niedźwiadek
Guardian Angel: Klaudia Sosin
Ghosts/Devils: Alex Sosin, Bertrand Kusiak
Belzebub: Marcin Bury
Guard: Tomasz Statkiewicz
Father Piotr: Piotr Kukliński
Senator: Michał Górecki
Doctor: Dariusz Celiński
Butler: Robert Panasiewicz
Pelikan: Wiesław Wójtowicz
Mrs Rollinson: Ania Niedźwiadek
Mrs Kmitowa: Justyna Skóra
Ladies in a Warsaw Salon: Laura Dondziło, Konstancja Kusiak, Monika Sosin, Joanna Bukara
Prisoners/Men in a Warsaw Salon: Maciej Maciołek, Marek Maciołek, Robert Panasiewicz, Józef Szczepaniak
Duchess: Klaudia Sosin
Foreman: Tomasz Statkiewicz
Governor: Wojciech Bernaciak
Governor’s Wife: Monika Rosiewicz
Soldier: Adam Kukliński
Sorcerer: Stanisław Tomasiak
Woman: Laura Dondziło
Women in prayer: Joanna Bukara, Aldona Czubacka, Klaudia Czubacka
Director: Tomasz Bujakowski , Maria Kuźmicka
Adaptation, Staging and Props: Tomasz Bujakowski
Costumes: Danuta Rosiewicz, Krystyna Łyszkowicz
Poster Design: Anna Myśliwska