Logo The Grotowski Year 2009
The Grotowski Institute
  • Polish
  • English
City of Wroclaw

Wroclaw European Capital of Culture 2016

the Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Gospels of Childhood and Caesarean Section. Essays on Suicide

Presentations of a diptych by Teatr ZAR (Wroclaw, Poland) 


Gospels of Childhood

Performed by: Marta/Maria – Ditte Berkeley/Kamila Klamut

and Nini Julia Bang, Przemyslaw Blaszczak, Tomasz Bojarski, Jean François Favreau, Jaroslaw Fret, Aleksandra Kotecka, Matej Matejka, Ewa Pasikowska, and Tomasz Wierzbowski.


Project leader: Jaroslaw Fret  


“The initial impulse for the project Gospels of Childhood was an interest in the Gnostic elements within the beginnings of Christianity. The performance oscillates between two threads: the story of the resuscitation of Lazarus as evoked through the mouths of Marta and Maria, his sisters, and ‘the testimony of Mary Magdalene,’ who according to some Gnostic traditions took a particular position among the apostles and was identified as one of the sisters of Lazarus. Among the texts which appear in the performance are scarcely known apocryphal gospels such as those of Mary Magdalene, Phillip, Thomas and fragments by Fiodor Dostoevski and Simone Weil. 

The songs that appear in the performance were gathered by the company during its expeditions to Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece in the years 1999–2003. Of crucial importance was the work with the people from Svaneti who live in the highest part of the Caucasus mountains. Within their tradition they have retained the funeral songs that are rooted in the beginning of our era and are the oldest form of polyphony in Georgia; probably also the oldest in the world. The second musical plot consists of liturgical songs from the Orthodox Republic of Monks – Athos. These songs, connected with the Pascha period, build the final section of the performance –consolamentum.

The performance is an attempt to tell the ‘late story of the flesh’ – after love, after humiliation, after death; an impossible story of resurrection”.



Caesarean Section. Essays on Suicide

Performers/Musicians: Ditte Berkeley, Kamila Klamut, Matej Matejka, Nini Julia Bang, Ewa Pasikowska, Aleksandra Kotecka, Tomasz Bojarski

Project leader: Jaroslaw Fret

Musical collaboration: Mariana Sadowska

Collaboration on physical score: Vivien Wood


“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest, whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories, comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.” (Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus) 

“The title of the performance is a metaphor for the compulsion towards and the condition of suicide, and the involuntary force that pulls one back from the brink. It is about the potential and necessary ability to prolong one’s breathing at the moment when one feels the pieces of glass, within the veins, that haven’t yet managed to reach the heart. It is an exploration of the liminal space between two impulses. 

Caesarian Section is the second performance from Theatre ZAR, which further develops the group’s work with polyphony and its aim to create theatre out of the spirit of music. The musical structure of this performance was developed from a base of polyphonic Corsican songs, into which Bulgarian, Romanian, Icelandic and Chechen songs have been woven. Through its contact with and integration into this contemporary theatre piece, the traditional music material has been transformed and taken on a new form, becoming seamlessly interwoven with an intensive movement score. The subtle power and energy of the piece owes a debt to Erik Satie and his identification of the intensity that can be transmitted by each and every drop of sound.

We are unable to express the debt that our performance owes to Aglaya Veteranyi.

The performance is dedicated to: 
The Force of Gravitation 
Our Throats 
Sagacious Maidens Silly Maidens

All the Lukewarm

Zygmunt Duczynski.


Caesarean Section. Essays on Suicide was presented prior to its official premiere at the Fabbrica Europa Festival in Florence (May 2007), at the invitation of Roberto Bacci.


Duration: 130 minutes (one intermission)