Teatr Na Walizkach (Poland)
The Barrel of Laughter
July 6, at 4:00 pm. and 7.00 pm., Rynek Nowego Miasta
Teatr Na Walizkach – a comedy street theatre founded in 2005 by three actors: Anna Went, Łukasz Jędrzejczak and Oleg Yemceva – a Russian comedian and mime. Over the past years, the group has collaborated with many actors from different parts of the world, which has resulted in the nature of today's performances of the company – universal, easy to understand by any audience, regardless of their age or nationality.
The company finds inspiration in silent movies (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton), a modern Russian clownery, improvisation theatre, puppet theatre and pantomime.
The company focuses on comedies based on the conventions of street theatre, improvisation, 'visual comedy', and circus. Teatr na Walizkach was originally a pantomime theatre, but now the interests and inspirations of artists go far beyond the art of mime.
The company has performed at many theatre events and festivals in Poland and abroad, repeatedly visiting Italy, Germany, Belarus, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Tunisia and Hungary, where they were enthusiastically received thanks to their direct language of communication. The members of the theatre are professional actors.
The Barrel of Laughter - a street performance drawing from the tradition of modern Russian clownery, as well as circus and improvisation theatre. As the title suggests, the performance is a mix of countless comedy ideas whose aim is to amuse the audience. The barrel is a place from which actors pull out unusual props, which are later used for the most unusual and sophisticated activities – and the spectator never knows when the surprise is going to come. Spontaneous action is happening around the barrel and there is no traditional division into the actors and spectators – the spectators become the actors while the actors watch. Everybody is having fun to the rhythm of juggling shows, acrobatics (being a parody of acrobatics), taming animals (which turn out not to be animals after all), the exploits of a hypnotist who charms the audience thanks to his supernatural powers, as well as many other attractions.
A sentimental note is introduced by a marionette that falls in love with a spectator. Because the feeling is not returned the marionette dies and needs help to start functioning again…
This dynamic, thrilling spectacle received the Main Award at the Open-Air Theatre Festival in Biała Podlaska in 2006.
„A display of bravura on a unicycle, a juggling show and a parody of an acrobatic performance – last Saturday the square was loud with laughter. Excellent mood was served to the residents by actors who staged a street performance entitled "The Barrel of Laughter”.
Katarzyna Jasiulek, www.itvm.pl/n/kultura, 8.08.2017
Directed by: Łukasz Jędrzejczak, Oleg Yemcev
Script: Anna Jędrzejczak, Oleg Yemcev, Łukasz Jędrzejczak
Costumes: Anna Jędrzejczak
Performers: Łukasz Jędrzejczak, Anna Jędrzejczak, Michał Kucharski.