The Divine Comedy – Kümmernis at ICE Kraków!
The spectacle by Agata Duda-Gracz of Gdynia's Musical Theatre was inspired by the legend of Saint Wilgefortis, also known as Kümmernis, whose cult is currently not recognised by the Catholic Church. According to the legend, the girl wanted to devote herself to God, while her father, the king, wanted to marry her off to her friend. To save herself from her fate, the heroine locked herself in a tower and prayed that she would be made repulsive. One day, she sprouted a beard. The director transfers this incredible story, or rather its individual motifs, to the raw realities of the Polish countryside, where men wield supreme power over women's bodies and will. Rapes, violence and aggression are an everyday occurrence here. As it turns out, the only thing that can save Kümmernis, played by Magdalena Kumorek, is her great love for a man named Cyril (Cezary Łukasiewicz). This melodramatic story of passion, reminiscent of the forbidden feelings of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is confronted with the brutal world, in which there is no room for feelings and sentiments or insubordination, and femininity is severely disciplined by the fathers and husbands who uphold the social order.
In the monumental spectacle, filled with musical numbers based only on human voices, with an impressive three-level stage design of her own, in which the central place is occupied by the icon that serves as the background for the action, Duda-Gracz initially deceives viewers. She offers a series of mocking, grotesque scenes, saturated with the atmosphere of folk entertainment. This all serves the drastic change in tone and emphasise the oppression that women fall victim to, bluntly criticising the system of patriarchal values, which traps more than just the play's characters.
fot. Greg Noo-Wak
Direction, screenplay, stage design, costumes: Agata Duda-Gracz
Music: Łukasz Wójcik
Stage movement: Tomasz Wesołowski
Lighting: Katarzyna Łuszczyk
Literary consultant: Michał Pabian
Assistant director: Agata Schweiger, Dagmara Olewińska, Weronika Kuśmider
Assistant stage designer: Konrad Laprus
Stage manager: Krzysztof Przyłuski
Dorota Kowalewska, Katarzyna Kurdej, Aleksy Perski, Katarzyna Wojasińska, Renia Gosławska, Magdalena Kumorek, Rafał Ostrowski, Cezary Łukasiewicz, Jerzy Michalski, Marcin Słabowski, Mateusz Deskiewicz, Marta Kwiatkowska, Jan Napieralski, Wojciech Daniel, Krzysztof Suszek