Theatre premiere of Ewa Żurakowska’s multi-genre project Home Beyond the Borders? in Venuše ve Švehlovce

Polish performer Ewa Żurakowska created her project based on the book House of Day, House of Night by Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk. The production Home Beyond the Borders?, which invites the audience into the world of dreams, surreal and visionary reality, had its Czech site-specific premiere in Prague’s Invalidovna (Studio ALTA) and will now be added to the repertoire of the Venuše ve Švehlovce Theatre. Theatre premiere takes place on Monday, November 21. The performer received a broader nomination for the Thalia Awards 2022 for her performance in the production.

A multi-genre production of Home Beyond the Borders? is based on themes from the novel House of Day, House of Night by Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk. A monodrama full of video projections, poetic images and dreamy texts takes us into a surreal and visionary reality inspired by visions from a novel by a Polish writer. 

Home Beyond the Borders? explores the theme of home as a space of identity, home as a body and a body as home. It also explores questions about the crossing of boundaries between people and worlds, dreams and reality, community and intimacy. A lot of emphasis is placed on issues of identity, rooting, uprooting and return, especially since the stories from both the book and the play take place on “reclaimed territories”, in an area with Polish, Czech and German roots.

An important component of the production is the music, which is interpreted live by Żurakowska and two Ukrainian musicians who joined the project only during the adaptation for the Prague theater premiere and thus replaced Polish musicians – accordionist Paweł Kopeć and violinist Katarzyna Kolczyńska Niemierowska.

“A production of Home Beyond the Borders? is very much tied to my personal experience, but also the global context. Home means something different to me and to those who lost it almost a year ago. That’s why we involved new musicians from Ukraine in the production.”

Violinist Vardui Saribekian has been working in Bohemia for several years. After graduating from the Odesa Conservatory, she graduated from the Czech HAMU and is currently a member of the Hradec Králové Philharmonic. Saxophonist Oleksandr Dudko was forced to leave the Donetsk Big Drive Jazz Band and flee to the Czech Republic after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Thy both bring musical motifs from their culture to the production, and feelings that make the production move for further boundaries.

Performer Ewa Żurakowska appeared in the broader nomination for the Thalia Awards 2022 for her role in Home Beyond the Borders?“…the performer tells suggestively about the world of the Czech-Polish border, which she literally “materializes” with her intense physical acting, both in the form of dialogues with the audience and in her own dreamy monologues. It is characterized by sensitivity, complex acting and a charismatic ability to establish direct contact with the audience.”

After its Polish premiere, the production had its Czech site-specific premiere in Prague’s Invalidovna (Studio ALTA) and will now be added to the repertoire of the Venuše ve Švehlovce Theatre. The premiere takes place on November 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased via the portal.

Home Beyond the Borders?

Script, concept, performing: Ewa Żurakowska
Directed by: Maciej Gorczyński
Choreography: Cécile Da Costa
Dramaturgy co-operation: Hana Müllerová
Scenography, video: Iwona Bandzarewicz
Music: Vartui Saribekian, Oleksandr Dudko, Ewa Żurakowska
Producers: ProFitArt, z. s., Przestrzeń Wyobraźni
Co-producer: Fundacja Pałac Gorzanów 
Partners: Venuše ve Švehlovce, Stowarzyszenie Kudowa, Underground klub Eden Broumov, Tibo Sound, Studio Alta
Supported by: International Visegrad Fund,State Fund of Culture of the Czech Republic, City of Prague, Ministry of Culture Czech Republic