Who really is Krystian Lupa, whose play was deprogrammed at the Avignon Festival

Krystian Lupa in Warsaw (Poland), in 2017.

volcanic artist

His latest creation has just been deprogrammed by a Swiss theater and by the Festival d’Avignon. While he was rehearsing his show at the Comédie de Genève, Emigrants, according to the novel by WG Sebald, Krystian Lupa would have pushed the technicians to the limit. From stressful repetitions to mutual misunderstandings and raised voices of the artist – “ I went off the rails and I’m ashamed of it,” he later said – the case took a dramatic turn: under increasing pressure, the crew, with the exception of the actors, said they were victims of behavior incompatible with her values. Result: she refused to continue the work, cornering the management to stop the adventure dead. A gesture with serious consequences since it led, in the process, to the withdrawal of the performances scheduled for July in Avignon.

control freak

Internationally recognized as a genius in directing, Krystian Lupa was born in 1943 in Jastrzębie Zdrój, Poland. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and at the Lodź Film School before entering the National Theater School in Krakow. A training that makes him a creator with a broad spectrum. This conductor of fascinating theatrical ceremonies takes care of the sets himself and meticulously regulates each light. Costumes of the actors, choice of music, tempo of the performances, his eye watches over everything. He invents incredible spaces, masterpieces that come to life under the amazed gaze of the public. Honored with the highest distinctions of Polish theatre, her work was crowned, in 2009, with the Europe Prize for the Theatre.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Krystian Lupa, director, after the cancellation of his show “Les Emigrants”: “It is not my oversized ego that is the source of the conflict”

Great Authors Adapter

Since his debut in 1976, this great reader of psychoanalyst Carl Jung has been tracking interiorities. His explorations of the unconscious and the imaginary lead him to create shows that can last up to eight hours. The time to immerse the public in the subjectivities where the impulses lurk. He has become a specialist in adaptations of novels by excessive authors. He thus worked on Musil (The dreamers, 1988), Dostoyevsky (The Karamazov Brothers, 1990), Broch (The Sleepwalkers, 1995), Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita, 2002), Nietzsche and Einar Schleef (Zarathustra, 2006). Without forgetting Thomas Bernhard, his favorite writer.

Also read the interview: Article reserved for our subscribers Krystian Lupa, director: “Today, everywhere in the world, it’s regression”

Director of extraordinary actors

He has developed a method of his own: he rehearses for several months and involves his actors in intense improvisations. To blend into the skin of his character, the actor must invent an underground life for him nourished by his emotions and his intimate memories. This process illuminates the way of playing. Whether Polish or French, the performers literally inhabit their roles. In Paris, the public discovered the hypnotic worlds of Lupa in 1998. Since then, not a scene worthy of the name has hosted the masterpieces of this demiurge.

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