“Jerzy Limon/Prospero” – a discussion on 23 April, at 7 pm CET, initiating a series of debates
entitled: “The Helplessness of a Philosopher”.
On the Day of 457th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Birth, 23 April 2021, the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre invites you to a new series of events, of philosophical reflection on theatre and Shakespeare, related to the 25th Anniversary of the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival. The first discussion, entitled “Jerzy Limon/Prospero” is dedicated to the memory of Professor Jerzy Limon, Shakespeare scholar, writer, translator and Director of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, who passed away last month.
We feel helpless in the face of this sudden and premature loss, surrounded as we are by a pandemic, political unrest, internal conflicts, environmental degradation, social inequality, disregard for art and critical thought, by spreading ignorance… This may be the reason why Professor Limon’s dream was to have a debate at the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre on the helplessness of ‘the Philosopher’ who was for him someone thoughtful, considerate and sensitive, someone trying to grasp the complexity of the world.
We need to focus on the legacy of Professor Limon, on the challenges and tasks he left us to deal with; we need to examine his attitude to contemporary culture, the problems he grappled with, the helplessness he felt.
The discussion will take place on 23 April, at 19.00. The panellists will meet live onstage of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre; the meeting will be transmitted on YouTube and the Facebook page of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre. The participants are: Łukasz Drewniak – theatre critic, dr hab. Stanisław Rosiek – literary historian, writer, publisher, and Anna Augustynowicz – theatre director. The meeting will be led by Piotr Augustyniak whose idea this debate was. The accompanying artistic programme is directed by Robert Florczak.
The event will be transmitted in Polish, on the YouTube and Facebook profiles of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre.
Jerzy Limon: Scholar and Man of Theatre, in the Memories of Friends
International online meeting on 24 April
1.30 pm CET / 12.30 pm BST / 7.30 am EDT
This event is part of William Shakespeare’s 457th Birthday Celebrations at the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre and “Jerzy Limon/Prospero” discussion dedicated to the life of Professor Jerzy Limon who passed away in March 2021. The discussion initiates a series of debates entitled: “The Helplessness of a Philosopher”. Professor Jerzy Limon was the creator and Director of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, author, translator, literary and theatre scholar of international repute.
At two consecutive round tables, friends and colleagues of Professor Limon will share memories and discuss the importance of his work as a man of theatre and Renaissance scholar.
Programme: 24th April 2021
The event will be introduced by Boika Sokolova and Janice Valls-Russell.
1.30 – 2.45 pm CET Jerzy Limon—Man of Theatre
Chair: Nicoleta Cinpoes
Participants: Alicja Bral, Grzegorz Bral, Javor Gardev, Philip Parr, Luk Perceval, Joanna Śnieżko-Misterek
2.45 – 3.00 pm CET Break
3.00 – 4.45 pm CET Jerzy Limon—The Scholar
Chair: Marta Gibińska
Participants: Michael Dobson, Pavel Drabek, Jay Halio , Peter Holland, Marta Nowicka, Manfred Pfister, George Szonyi, Tomasz Wiśniewski
The discussion will be transmitted on the YouTube and Facebook profiles of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, and available in English only.
Organiser: Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski
Nicoleta Cinpoeş – Worcester University, UK
Marta Gibinska – Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Boika Sokolova – The University of Notre Dame (USA) in England
Janice Valls-Russell – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Paul Valéry University of Montpellier (UPVM), France
Tomasz Wiśniewski – University of Gdansk, Poland
It is with profound sadness and an enormous sense of loss
that we inform about the passing away on 3 March 2021 of Professor Jerzy Limon,
Creator and Director of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre.
No words can express the emptiness we feel in our hearts.
Time has stood still. We would so like it to go back to all the moments we spent with Professor Limon. The best Mentor, an uncommon Visionary, a demanding Director, a true Friend.
We remain faithful to his work and we are working diligently – just as he would wish.
Professor Jerzy Limon believed in miracles, especially for his theatre. He also believed in the Muses and the higher powers which support us. We are left with the belief that, where he has gone, he will be surrounded by a host of magnificent artists.
You may extend your sympathy in our Online CONDOLENCE BOOK The Condolences Book will also be available in the entrance hall of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre every day from 12.30 to 18.00. We ask you to observe the current sanitary regulations.
Professor Jerzy Limon attended the General Grammar School No. 1 in Sopot and he graduated from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, where he studied English Philology and History. Between 1975 and 1980, he lectured in History in the Institute of English Philology at the university in Poznan and, in 1979, he completed his Ph.D. In 1980, he joined the Institute of English Studies at the University of Gdansk. In 1985, he completed his Habilitation and, in 1993, he became a Titular Professor. Between 1983 and 1993, he was Deputy Director of the Institute of English Studies (currently the Institute of English and American Studies) at the University of Gdansk and he headed the Department of the History of English Literature and Culture. He founded and headed the Department of Scenic Arts at the University of Gdansk and then became Full Professor in the Department of Research into Scenic Arts. He was a Humanities Professor in the Philology Faculty at the University of Gdansk. He lectured in Polish and English.
He was a member of the Association of Polish Writers and the Association of Stage Artists and Composers, an active member of the Polish Academy of Skills and a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. He delivered guest lectures at, among others, Hunter College, the University of Delaware, the University of Colorado, the University of Aberdeen, Kingston University and the Shakespeare Institute in Washington.
Founder and chairman (1989-2014) of the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation, setting himself the aim of reconstructing the Elizabethan theatre in Gdansk and co-oganising the Shakespeare Festival. The initiator and director (2008-2021) of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre (opened in September 2014) and the founder and artistic director of the International Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk, which, in 2017, was honoured with the European Union EFFE Award. The originator and co-founder of the European Network of Shakespeare Festivals, with its seat in Gdansk. Member of the International Shakespeare Society, the Polish Shakespeare Society, the Polish Theatre Historians’ Society, the Association of Stage Artists and Composers, the Association of Polish Writers and the Poznan Society of Friends of the Arts and Sciences. Founder member of the Sfinks Forum for the Integration of Science, Culture and Art in Sopot.
The author of numerous academic books, published in Poland and abroad, and some 150 articles, reviews, essays and popular academic essays, published in Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the USA. The author of 120 entries in the PWN Great Universal Encyclopaedia. His output also inludes 4 novels, and translations of old plays (Shakespeare) and contemporary ones (Stoppard). In recent years, he published the books “Młot na poetów albo Kronika ściętych głów” [“The hammer of poets or A chronicle of severed heads”] (2014) and “Szekspir bez cenzury. Erotyczny żart na scenie elżbietańskiej” [“Shakespeare without censorship. The erotic joke on the Elizabethan stage”] (2018), published by the Gdańsk publisher Słowo/obraz/terytoria.
Jerzy Limon won many awards in Poland and abroad. In 2006, he was awarded the Gloria Artis Silver Medal for his services to culture and the President of Gdansk’s Prize for Culture. In the same year, he also received the Jan Hevelius Scientific Award from the City of Gdansk. In 2011, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order and, in 2014, for his services to Polish-British cultural cooperation, he became an Officer of the Order of the British Member. He received his O.B.E. from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2015, he became a laureate of the Jerzmanowscy Prize awarded by the Polish Academy of Skills. The award was presented at Wawel Castle. In the same year, he also received the Saint Adalbert Medal. In 2016, he was honoured with the title Person of the Year by the editors of the Baltic Daily. On 27 April 2019, in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Professor Jerzy Limon received the international Pragnell Shakespeare Award for outstanding achievements in the popularisation and development of knowledge on the subject of the works of William Shakespeare.
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, Act IV, Scene I
The 24th edition of Gdansk Shakespeare Festival is coming soon!
From the 20th of November our audience will be able to watch Festival’s performances, this time, due to Covid-19 regulations, online only.
There are live-streaming presentations planned as well as recordings, moreover all Mainstage performances accompanied by Q&A discussions after the show. And – surprise – the access to all the shows is free!. The only thing you need to do, is register at the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre VOD platform. Details will follow soon.
See the PROGRAMME of 24th GDANSK SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2020
20 November at 19.00 – the Festival Opening by Professor Jerzy Limon, Artistic Director
28 November at 17.00, ShakespeareOFF – verdict announcement – Audience award and „Shaking the Walls” award.
Additional event presented as a part of Shaking the Walls project:
29 November at 18.00, SUSS!, dir. by Charlotte Böving, RaTaTam theatre group, Iceland – after the performance a discussion with artists and experts on domestic violence and human rights is to be live-streamed from Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre.
Parrabbola and the partners from across the project are coming to Gdansk to make a community play, the final artistic cooperation in the European Collaborative project – Shaking the Walls organized by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Shaking the Walls explores the walls and barriers, visible and invisible across our societies. The project partners come from Ireland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Poland and the UK, and will all meet within this community performance.
Every community play or event is crafted to that community, in the UK, Europe or internationally, because every community is different. Parrabbola spans the generations with its community theatre work.
Authoritarianism, Borders, Censorship, Domestic violence, Equality.
The barriers and walls that divide us are everywhere; some you can see and some you can’t.
In this Parrabbola project, co-created with all of the Shaking the Walls partners and with community participants from Gdansk, we’re going to do some shaking and some breaking down of those barriers.
If Shakespeare wrote about and exposed all these issues – why are we still talking about them? Haven’t we learnt anything? Weren’t we listening?
Will you listen when we talk about them now? And will you shake the walls?
The performance will combine references to all the partner projects, with Shakespeare scenes and extracts, and some other new writing that has been commissioned from around the world.
The Call for Participants is now open. You can be a part of this performance – we need people from the Gdansk community who would like to participate in this production. No experience is necessary, just a willingness and enthusiasm to be part of the production – speaking, acting, singing, and dancing. It’s always great fun, and hard work, and we will make great things together!
Because of the current virus situation, we can’t hold our usual casting days, so we’ll work on zoom to meet all of you at a couple of sessions in October. But at this stage, you should just SIGN UP. Come and be part of it!
We closely monitor pandemic situation and will act accordingly to the restrictions and available options – in case live performance is not possible we will go online and make the best we can with available tools.
The production will be presented in the programme of 24. Gdansk Shakespeare Festival and is planned to be presented on 21, 22, 23 November 2020.
Artistic team involved in the development of the production:
UK Parrabbola: Philip Parr (Director), David Monteith (Performer), Brian D Hanlon (Designer), Andra Chelcea (Producer),
UK York: Sonia DiLorenzo, Benedict Turvill (Performer)
Ireland: Maggie Hannon (Performer)
Czech Republic: Jana Ryslava (Performer and Movement Director)
Iceland: Gudmundur Ingi Thorvaldsson (Perfomer, Composer, Musical Director)
Poland: Pawel Sudara (film maker) Filip Gesse (Associate Designer)