• 2017 – ongoing
  • Teatr Powszechny
  • Photography: Magda Hueckel & Steve Tanner

“I never really cared about politics so why would I be interested in it now? To me, theatre is the only form of freedom. I am an actor: I go to the theatre, I play a role, I go home. That’s it” – says Hendrik Höfgen, the protagonist  Klaus Mann’s book Mephisto after learning that Hitler has risen to power. The story about a chameleon-like actor who smoothly forms alliances with any authorities is becoming disturbingly relevant to our times. The 1981 movie by István Szabó was interpreted as a commentary on the regimes of the Soviet Bloc in Eastern Europe.

The Mefisto premiere, which took place in the Powszechny Theatre in 1983, arose from societies memories of martial law and the attitudes of artists towards the government at the time of the Polish People’s Republic (PRL). In 2017, Mefisto is performed in a theatre in which the nationalists hurl their flares, a theatre stigmatised from the  rostrums of Parliament; a theatre whose entrance is protected by the police to maintain security.