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TBPThis was the company that changed it all for me. I was feeling a bit cynical in my early days in the outdoor arts sector, longing for work with a bit more content and with a bit of an edge that I felt was lacking. This is the outdoors, I thought, it should be the theatre of protest and danger and anarchy. Then I sat and watched Teatr Biuro Podróży’s modern Orwellian fable, Swiniopolis (pigs), unfold in front of me, and something finally clicked. Here was what I was looking for: it was dark, challenging, dangerous and unnerving. It had a roughness to the presentation and a deep sincerity to the message. I looked around at the audience’s distressed faces as the piece moved from playful fairytale to bloody nightmare and I knew that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Over the years I developed strong ties with the company, and particularly with Pawel Szkotak and Marta Strzałko, the couple who lead he company. Each year, as their son Victor grew taller and taller, it was like old friends returning. I eventually went to see them perform in their home in Poznan… in -20 degrees. Teatr Biuro Podróży played their entire repertoire for me over the years, from the fiery, fascist Macbeth on motorbikes to the sci-fi extravaganza, Planet Lem. Their signature piece, the war-torn Carmen Funebre, remains a benchmark of politically engaging, visually arresting and utterly human outdoor theatre, but for me, I will never forget the first time I sat there, tears streaming down my face as I watched those piglets being herded up and driven away in the back of a truck, looking out at the audience in quiet desperation, aware of the awful betrayal that had taken place and pitifully resigned to their sad fate. I turned to my companion and said, ‘that’s more like it’.

Teatr Biuro Podróży website

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