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Made of Stone is on at the Play House tonight as Shakespeare and Poland Festival gets under way





One of the highlights from this weekend’s Shakespeare and Poland Festival that takes place this weekend is theatrical production Made of Stone at the Stratford Play House on Saturday (22nd June).

Presented by Krakow’s acclaimed street theatre company Scena Kalejdoskop, Made of Stone is a play for all ages, blending forgotten tales and legends in a magical mountain kingdom

Founder of the company Piotr Kulczyk told Herald Arts: “We started in 2004 and from the very beginning we have been focusing on form theatre with a particular emphasis on street art and theatre. Today, I want to use the richness of folk art, and combine it with the medium provided by street theatre.”

SCENA KALEJDOSKOP's Made of Stone
SCENA KALEJDOSKOP's Made of Stone

As well as being the name of the piece, Made of Stone describes the main protagonist. Piotr explained: “Our main character wears stones attached to his chest symbolising his internal burdens and traumas.”

The story is a tragedy of sorts - about a man who wants to love but can’t manage his emotions.

Piotr added: “Nowadays, a lot of people are still unable to properly manage their emotions in their relationships and marriages. It may sound strange because management is mostly associated with business, not with feelings. We can work, take loans, build houses and yet we cannot properly take care of our love which leads to losing it.”

The story in takes place in the universe of Polish legends known in the region of Bieszczady Mountains which lends the production a vivid setting, including stunning forests and mystical creatures brought to life through amazing masks and unique costumes, set to the enchanting music of Polish composers.

“I hope to make Stradford’s audience reflect on love, relationships and about themselves. It is thought-provoking and hopefully will lead to some internal reflection for all who see it,” said Piotr.

“And for Polish and British people to understand each other better by promoting universal values.”

The festival continues on Sunday (23rd June) with Venetian Mask-making AT THE RSC (10.30am and 12noon, book at www.rsc.org.uk).

Between 11.30am and noon on Sunday 23rd June, on Bancroft Terrace outside the RSC, audiences will also have the chance to see a special free outdoor event, the Folk Reflections: Walkabout Performance in which three, larger than life puppets will perform in spectacular colourful costumes.

Janet Suzman
Janet Suzman

Events continue at 3pm at Stratford Town Hall with a Panel Discussion in partnership with The Shakespeare Institute entitled ‘Transformations – Shakespeare’s theatre in Poland and the woman’s voice’.

Acclaimed Shakespearean actress and star of stage and screen, Dame Janet Suzman as well as internationally renowned theatre and opera director Helena Kaut-Howson will be among those taking part.

Closing this year’s festival on Sunday at 7pm at Stratford Town Hall, will be ‘From Poland with Music’, which will take listeners on a journey through Poland’s rich musical tradition through the light and lyrical works of some of the country's greatest composers, performed on the piano and violin.

The concert will feature works by Fryderyk Chopin, Henryk Wieniawski, Grażyna Bacewicz and Wojciech Kilar.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to The Shakespeare Hospice.




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