Fragments on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
Jarosław Fret/ZAR Theatre/Grotowski Institute, Wrocław (Poland)

Marta/Maria – Ditte Berkley/Kamila Klamut
with Nini Julia Bang, Przemysław Błaszczak, Tomasz Bojarski, Jarosław Fret, Aleksandra Kotecka, Ewa Pasikowska, Adam Phillips, Tomasz Wierzbowski

Project leader: Jarosław Fret

The duration of the play is 55 minutes.


The initial impulse for the project Gospels of Childhood was an interest in the gnostic elements in the beginning of Christianity. The performance oscillates between two threads: the story of the resurrection of Lazarus evoked through the mouths of Marta and Maria, his sisters and “the testimony of Mary Magdalene”, who according to the some gnostic traditions took a particular position among the apostoles and was identified as one of the sisters of Lazarus. Among the texts which appear in the performance there are scarcely known apocryphal gospels such as that of Mary Magdalene, Phillip, Thomas and fragments by Fiodor Dostoevski and Simone Weil.
The songs used in the performance were collected by the company during its expeditions to Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece in the years 1999-2003. Specially important was the work with the Svaneti people,· living in the highest part of the Caucasus mountains. In their tradition they kept the funeral songs, which have their roots 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 end of the performance – consolamentum.
The performance is an attempt to tell the “late story of the flash” – after love, after humiliation, after death; an impossible story of resurrection.

ZAR is a theatre studio and it remains as a programme carried out by the Grotowski Institute.
This artistic group has been under process of formation for almost three years during the time of expeditions and creative theatrical work. The first presentation of the work in progress on the performance Gospels of Childhood in public took place during the 25th Anniversary of the Centre for Theatre Practices “Gardzienice”. The premiere was in October 2003.
Whilst working on the performance the company met Daisuke Yoshimoto, a Japanese butoh dancer. This collaboration resulted in the presentation Lazarus, which was a complementary part of the performance Gospels of Childhood, and was performed in Poland on several ocassions at the end of 2003 and 2004, and at the beginning of 2005.


· Svaneti, a Georgian ethnic subgroup, primarily living in the historical province called Svaneti which is situated in the western part of Georgia, are mostly Orthodox Christian by confession and speak Svan language, which belongs to the Svan subgroup of the South Caucasian language family. (Editor’s note)

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