Performance / Competition for the New Yorick

Theatre in Poznań / Poland

Lover’s complaint

dir. Mira Mańka


august 4 / 18.00 / 70 min / no age limit

Competition for the New Yorick

The competition is aimed at young artists debuting in the Polish theatre and is intended to encourage them to read and re-enact the works of William Shakespeare, to seek answers for contemporary problems in his works, and to test new theatrical forms with their help.

The New Yorick statuette will be awarded as a part of the 27th international Shakespeare Festival. Three presentations will be competing for it, produced by the laureates together with the theatres invited to cooperate by the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre – the Polish Theatre in Poznań, the Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica and the Powszechny Theatre from Warsaw.

The competition received 27 entries from direction students from all schools in Poland, directors at the beginning of their careers, and artistic collectives. The selection was made by the heads of the above-mentioned theatres – Maciej Nowak, Jacek Głomb, Paweł Sztarbowski – who chose three adaptations. Each of the productions will be funded by the organisers of the international Shakespeare Festival with 25,000 PLN as the monetary part of the prize. They will be presented as 'work in progress’ during the festival and judged by an international jury consisting of: Eleanor Skimin, Jacek Kopciński, and Aneta Mancewicz.

Artist about the performance

“A Lover’s Complaint” is a proclamation by people who loved and then in their love were cheated, rejected and discarded. “A Lover’s Complaint” is the story of a girl seduced by words. A girl who trusted someone who could talk beautifully. A girl who believed that words describe reality and are not only poetry, a game, a means of seduction. A girl who, despite her experience of being cheated and discarded, knows that next time she will succumb to the charm of her lover’s words. “A Lover’s Complaint” is a tale about experiencing amorous betrayal. A tale beginning at the moment of the awareness of the end of a relationship. The moment of being left with a few objects – mementoes of love with which, when love has passed, you do not know what to do.

“A Lover’s Complaint” is a lament for oneself and, in a broader perspective, for all those who have experienced or are experiencing amorous defeat. It is a song of purification, of publicly crying over the loss of part of yourself; it is both the end and the beginning, the moment of rebirth. It is the pain whose naming and denouncing before witnesses brings relief.

“A Lover’s Complaint” is a communal listening and/or renouncing, dancing, singing, shouting of complaints, which we ourselves make and which often compose us. It is an attempt take the words of the protagonist of Shakespeare’s poem as our own, an attempt to filter them through individual sensitivities while retaining collectivity. It is a communal agreement to what is most human – to an unsuccessful amorous relationship, to a broken heart, to being discarded and to discarding someone else. “A Lover’s Complaint” is a story by a choir of the d/Deaf and the hearing. A choir which, in its multiplicity of languages and expressions, looks at strategies of speaking about amorous defeat. A choir which, in broadening the field of representation, broadens the field of understanding.

Inspired by Robert Wilson’s quiet opera, “Deafman Glance”, I want to manifest the otherness of expression and understanding of the d/Deaf and hearing performers. I believe that the strategies of respect for differences and of drawing on them are strategies that are really unifying and can become the beginning of a revolution.
Mira Mańka


Director and dramaturge – Mira Mańka
Musical composition – Michał Lazar


Konrad Cichoń, Piotr Dąbrowski, Barbara Krasińska, Ewa Szumska

The performance is a work-in-progress, whose premiere will take place at the Polski Theatre in Poznań.
Language – Polish phonic and Polish sign language with English subtitles

On the basis of William Shakespeare’s poem, “A Lover’s Complaint”. The production makes use of the original text and also fragments of Maciej Słomczyński’s translation and passages paraphrased by Mira Mińka.

Graphics by Małgorzata Gawlik

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