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Re:ID

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Given the spectacular rise of Polish emigrants to these shores and the rich culture that has long pulsed through that nation, it was a matter of time before its restless young émigré artists flexed their creative muscles. Enter Gappad Theatre Company, set up in Glasgow last year by actress Agnieszka Bresler, who appears onstage in this devised work alongside five other performers and a live piano/sax/cello/percussion quartet performing Krysztof Mieiczarek’s new score.

Re:ID’s starting point is simple. What does it mean for young people to leave their homeland and move to often hostile climes, where they run the risk of being outcast by suspicious locals guarding their own territory? The answers, in this physical-based bi-lingual production, is a series of impressionistic set-pieces illustrating the cast’s real-life experience, made more poignancy by Poland’s history of enforced exile.

So the four-woman, two- man troupe act out the traumas of leaving home and family behind, the awkward telephone calls that attempt to mask the loneliness and the constant need to fit in while feeling endlessly between worlds. The neutral blacks they perform in signal its extended drama exercise roots, as well as nodding to the greats of Polish theatre.

While by no means reinventing the multi-cultural wheel, Gappad, under the guidance of Bresler with co-director Kat Harrison, have here made the first steps in expanding their theatrical language as they must do in everyday life. If encouraged to develop their own agenda, all parties may yet be enriched. Tonight’s curtain-call saw Gappad garlanded with flowers. Such gestures are indicative of the Polish way, a lavish reminder of home that loses nothing in translation.

The Herald, June 21st 2007

ends

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