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06.05.2012

Life in a black hole - no holds barred on stage

Wroclaw “Ark” Theatre, which mission is to integrate people with disabilities through art, in its latest performance tells just about disability. In "Ball at Hawking's" asks whether it needs to be a barrier that separates from the world. The key character at the performance is British scientist Stephen Hawking, who has suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for 50 years, what causes progressive paralysis. Although he does not move on their own and he communicates with the world through speech synthesizers, his scientific career develops excellently, and Hawking does not decline to take part in public life. Hawking had been already diagnosed with the disease, when he married. Then he had fathered three children, and next, after 30 years of marriage, he divorced already at an advanced stage of the disease - to marry a nurse taking care of him.

The disease does not kill the passion Actors of the "Ark" Theatre (Michał Przybysz as Hawking, Agata Obłąkowska-Woubishet as his wife, Jane) tell the love story of a brilliant scientist . There is no taboo - it is also a story about the sexual close-ups. It is accompanied by poignant monologue of one of the disabled actresses, who tells the story of erotic fulfillment. There are all the classic elements of romance: tenderness and frustration due to illness, passion and anger at the world, devotion and betrayal, intimacy and rejection. The only difference is the wheelchair, in which the hero is immobilized. Hawking is the man for whom the woman is able to do everything on the field of love. However, he became the man who betrayed and killed feelings of that woman. Even the chain did not stop him. On the battlefield he remained a winner: progressive disease did not be able to kill his passion nor desire.


Second, equal plan, took place in the head of Hawking. There were frantic flight of ideas, questions and scientific theories what were mainly performed by the actors with disabilities, dressed in colorful, abstract costumes, reminiscent of the monstrous enlarged neurons. God, the universe, Einstein's theory of relativity - everything scrolls before the eyes of viewers in a deadly speed, so the public feels that their “non-disabled” heads burst in a minute. The theory of black holes ”Ball at Hawking's” is one of the best performances of “Ark” Theatre. This is a finely etched performance that contains thoughtful set design and costumes as well as great structure of collage. And above all, the spectacle that presents important problems wisely, without entering simplification, on disability issues. Its creators do not try to convince us that disability is not a barrier. Yes, it is, and it is serious one, but not for taking that what is most important. Hawking certainly would be much more efficient lover, if not a disease. But would he be able to love more? Would he be a better scientist? The body has not slowed down the efficiency of the mind untouched by the disease. The theory of black holes seems to be well used key to the spectacle. And it is not only through the scenography. We can feel like “citizens” one of them, where - paradoxically - the life lasts. Years ago Hawking announced the results of his work, arguing that black holes destroyed everything that goes into them. 30 years later he had to revise his views. Expedition to "Bal ..." many viewers may bring a similar revision - because there is so that disability means the end of life as many of us think. “Ball at Hawking’s” – directed by Renata Jasińska, scenario – Jarosława Makus, scenography and costumes – Sylwia i Maciej Hoffman, music – Luke Damrych, premiere at the “Arka” Theatre in Wroclaw – 2012, April 28th. Magda Piekarska Gazeta Wyborcza1, 2012, May 6th

Gazeta Wyborcza is the biggest Polish newspaper. It covers the gamut of political, international and general news. Like all the Polish newspapers, it is printed on compact-sized paper, and is published by the multimedia corporation Agora SA. The average circulation of the newspaper is 400,000. 1


Review1 ball at hawking's gazeta wyborcza (1) 1