The prose of Tadeusz Różewicz often takes origins in his poetry. The Old Woman is Hatching, according to the author’s own confession, grew out of his poem A Tale About Old Women. Its poetic beauty combines the tragedy of life’s end with the grotesque absurdity of life.
In the Alexandrinsky Theatre, the play of the revolutionary 20th century Polish classic, Tadeusz Różewicz, was staged by director Nikolai Roschin, who is actively searching for the new 21st century theatre language. As a director, scenic designer, artistic director of the Moscow Society of Actors and Directors Theatre, his interest in this kind of drama is inevitable. Nikolai Roschin is the master of intellectual and poetic stage experiments, and has successful experience in working with absurdist drama.
In Nikolai Roschin’s words, he is able to discover, in Tadeusz Różewicz’ works, a special absurdist drama trend, which endows the philosophy of the absurd with new brave, complex, paradoxical and sincere quality. The idea to stage The Old Woman is Hatching first came to the director several years ago in the Meyerhold Centre. However, he could not manage at that time to find the right actress to cope with the role’s poetic and philosophical depths. Nikolai Roschin received the handwritten translation of the play from Valery Fokin, who was actively working in the Meyerhold Centre at the time. The Polish avant-garde classic had personally given that text to the young director Valery Fokin in the 1970s.
The play The Old Woman is Hatching was first published in 1968, but has not, over nearly fifty years, lost any degree of its depth and significance, but only gained new meanings, as befits a classic novel. Nikolai Roschin himself says that after only 5 or 7 years, he now sees the play differently. The Old Woman is Hatching was also the first Alexandrinsky Theatre premiere to bring the theatre’s company onto the New Stage. The Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, Elena Nemzer, plays the leading role.
The performance premiered on February 8, 2014
Media about the
Nowadays, when the eye is searching for visual novelty on the stage, weary of schemes that appear similar like cousins – plays using words and words-free, the ones with costumes and practically costume-free ones – the visual world of the Old Woman is a feast for the eyes.
Mariya Tokareva An Old Woman on a Young Stage
Novaya Gazeta, March 2014
Elena Nemzer is the heroine of the performance, the actress Elena Nemzer herself and not her character. She nests over her Old Woman and does it heroically. She does not fascinate – she just exists volcanically, a Vesuvius in herself, a Vesuvius just about to erupt.
Nadezhda Tarshis. They are Hatching – What is it about?
Peterburgsky Teatralny Zhurnal, July 2014