"Heart of a Dog" at the Festival

Mikhail Bulgakov wrote his “Heart of a Dog” as a satire of Russian society in the 1920’s. Because of its subject the story was for many years forbidden by the censorship office. The spectacle directed by Maciej Englert is accurate of the plot and the text. The scene is laid as a fairy-tale in interwar Soviet Union. Nevertheless the text is very timely and it clearly refers to modern times. However, it does not have an intervention character. During the meeting with the spectacle creators (which was moderated by Łukasz Drewniak) director Maciej Englert emphasized that the spectacles of Współczesny Theatre in Warsaw always touched important subject and problems though they never had a publicistic character. According to him, the theatre should always use a universal and metaphorical language that comments problems and touches the very heart of them; the language that refers to human condition and attributes of the society and not only to single situations which quickly become obsolete.     

“Heart of a dog” tells the story of Professor Preobrazhensky, a luminary of Soviet and European science, who conducts scientific experiments in search of ways to rejuvenate the human body. The dog gets an experimental transplantation, which brings unexpected results. We witness the birth of an extremely brutal and aggressive man of a new era who thinks only of satisfying his own immediate needs. His actions are disruptive and he does not assent to any values. How to cope with him? Should we fight with him or wait until he destroys himself? Was this situation typical for the society a hundred years ago or is it a recurring motif in history? Can the spectacle be compared with the current situation in Poland? It does not give answers to these questions. As the spectacle’s director emphasized during the meeting, the theatre should not give ready answers, its role is to ask questions.          


Współczesny Theatre in Warsaw

Mikhail Bulgakov 

Heart of a Dog

Translation: Irena Lewandowska 

Adaptation and director: Maciej Englert 

Set design: Marcin Stajewski 

Costumes: Anna Englert 

Music: Jerzy Satanowski

Cast: Borys Szyc, Krzysztof Wakuliński, Szymon Mysłakowski, Barbara Wypych, Joanna Jeżewska, Mariusz Jakus, Monika Pikuła, Mikołaj Chroboczek, Dariusz Dobkowski, Rafał Zawierucha, Jan Pęczek, Piotr Bajor, Kinga Tabor, Ewa Porębska, Piotr Garlicki, Leon Charewicz, Remigiusz Jankowski, Szymon Roszak, Monika Węgiel, Sebastian Świerszcz, Jan Marczewski, Adrian Budakow