Loose Screws and Other Polish Plays

Edited by Dominika Laster


6 x 7.5 inches, 400pp. March 2015

ISBN : 9780857421777

Rs  750.00 (PB)
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£28.00 (PB)

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This anthology of contemporary Polish drama brings together nine previously untranslated plays by prominent playwrights who have emerged in rapidly changing post-communist landscapes, the plays expose ways in which individual and social violence impinge upon one another, disrupt notions of a monolithic Polish identity, and try to find meaning within the post-9/11 global context. The Files by the radical theatre group Teatr Ósmego Dnia looks back at 1970s communist Poland through the prism of personal letters, memoirs and newly declassified police files. MichaÅ‚ Bajer’s Eat the Heart of Your, set in the Paris apartment of Frédéric Chopin in October 1849, delves into issues of cultural and artistic patrimony in the context of exile. Ingmar Villqist’s Helver’s Night tells the story of a mentally challenged man’s complex relationship with his caregiver, Karla, amid a fascist takeover of the country. Amanita Muskaria’s Daily Soup, while firmly grounded in the specificity of a Polish working-class family, sheds light on the effects of globalization. The interplay of desire and the social forms is explored in MichaÅ‚ Walczak’s First Time. Krzysztof Bizio’s Let’s Talk About Life and Death is a montage of phone conversations and short interactions between wife, husband and son, who struggle with their sense of alienation as they confront criminal and social violence—the bloody side of life on which death encroaches. Made in Poland is PrzemysÅ‚aw Wojcieszek’s punk manifesto which investigates the relation between the totalitarian atmosphere of the Socialist Realism and the individualism it produces. Dorota MasÅ‚owska’s Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians is a fast-paced spree through the Polish countryside. MaÅ‚gorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk’s Loose Screws examines the ways in which various psychopathologies play themselves out in the private and public spheres in post-communist Poland.


The anthology includes a substantive introduction analyzing and situating the plays within their historical, political and theatrical contexts.


Dominika Laster is a lecturer in theatre studies and a postdoctoral fellow in interdisciplinary performance studies at Yale University. She has published in Performance Research, Slavic and Eastern European Performance, New Theatre Quarterly and TDR: The Drama Review. She is the author of Grotowski’s Bridge Made of Memory: Embodied Memory, Witnessing and Transmission in the Grotowski Work (forthcoming from Seagull Books, 2014).


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