27th MARCH 2020 / MAIN STAGE

based on BEATRIX CENCI by Juliusz Słowacki and THE CENCI by Percy Byshee Shelley
direction: Seb Majewski
adaptation and dramaturgy: Tomasz Jękot
set design and costumes: Karolina Mazur
music: Jakub Suchar
choreography: Jacek Łumiński
choreographer’s assistant: Sebastian Wiertelak
photos: Tobiasz Papuczys

FRANCESCO CENCI – Dariusz Skowroński
LUCREZIA CENCI – Angelika Cegielska
GIACOMO CENCI – Piotr Mokrzycki
BEATRIX CENCI – Dorota Furmaniuk
BERNARDO CENCI – Antoni Rychłowski [g]
GREYHOUND of CENCI FAMILY– Mikołaj Krzeszowiec [g]
PRIEST ORSINO – Wojciech Świeściak

The story of The Cenci family electrified public opinion and fascinated artists over the centuries.
This bloody tale is almost like an antique tragedy and remains controversial till today – the main character seeks justice on her own but all the power systems fail and the pope himself is involved in corruption.

According to old roman legend, Francesco Cenci – one of the richest men in 16th century Rome – abused both of his wives and children and repeatedly raped his daughter. The Inquisition and papal courts tried to arrest the father of the Cenci house for abusing the family, with no success. He was released from custody and cleared of charges every time through bribery and connections. The daughter of Francesco – Beatrix, tried to notify the authorities again and again, she even wrote letters to the pope, but her father influence in Vatican was too strong. The desperate members of the Cenci family: Lucrezia – the second wife of the despot, the oldest brother Giacomo, the youngest – Bernardo and Beatrix had no choice, the only way to restore their dignity and to start over was to murder the father. As Francesco was a widely hated person, it was easy to get two thugs involved in the conspiracy. Cenci’s death was not to invite any suspicion, so at the beginning the poison was delivered. It turned out to be too weak though, so the murderers were forced to use daggers and throw the body through the window making it look like an accident. The Romans did not buy it and the Cenci family was arrested. What is more, the plot was revealed by a family’s priest. The papal court tried to force Cenci family to admission of guilt by tortures and the unfair trial. The people of Rome moved by Francesco’s cruelty and Beatrix’s beauty demanded a pardon for the family, but the pope was intransigent. He sentenced the Cenci family for death by decapitation and forced a young Bernardo to watch their death.

The greatest writers like Percy B. Shelley, Juliusz Słowacki, Stendhal, Alexander Dumas, and even Alfred Nobel reached for the Cenci’s family tragedy. The last one devoted his only writing attempt – NEMESIS – to it. Teatr Dramatyczny in Wałbrzych returns to this touching story by creating a performance CENCI. The script based on BEATRIX CENCI by J. Słowacki and THE CENCI by P. B. Shelley texts concentrates on a cruel fate of a rich Italian family, and seeks for a contemporary perspective in it at the same time. The Cenci family takes us straight to 2020 Rome. We’ll have the chance to feel the Italian upper class bling, and to taste la dolce vita. We’ll see Versace dresses, Andrea Bocelli eating spaghetti with a papal legate, the world in which nothing’s missing, and behind whose façade a terrible family secret is hidden.

Seb Majewski, the director and the artistic director of Teatr Dramatyczny with his creators team want to tell the story about justice and use this family drama to concentrate on a problem of authority influencing legal processes. A two-parta performance will be an attempt of a closer encounter with the Cenci family, and on-site inspection made at the crime scene.

The premiere of the performance will be part of celebration of The World Theatre Day on 27th March 2020.