First Day

Having met up successfully with Alexia in the college car park at 4.30am, we took two minibuses, both significantly more mini than bus, to Luton, arriving without disaster.  The majority spent the flight sleeping awkwardly propped on elbows, wedged sideways into Wizzair’s Hobbit-leg room seats.  We were met in Wrocław airport by Michael Earley and our assigned Polish guide, Kamil, for whose name Michael offered a helpful dromedary mnemonic.  Kamil took us on the bus to our hostel, which is rather lovely, with large open spaces and wooden floors.  The 13 of us are sharing one dormitory, which is a strangely normal experience. 

Having dropped off our bags and sampled the sandwiches and milk in the restaurant downstairs, it was time to go straight to the Grotowski centre for the reception.  We met up with the groups of Spanish and American students along the way, from the Murcia and New York schools respectively. 

At the centre we were greeted with free tea, coffee, orange juice, and a substance which seemed to be undiluted blackcurrent syrup.  The reception was held in the same space in which we are to perform Traumatikon - quite a wide space with a high ceiling, and wood panelled walls, as well as a wooden structure around the audience section, supporting a balcony above. 

After an enthusiastic welcome, in which Rose Bruford was given credit for the borrowed title of ‘Making Tomorrow’s Theatre’, there was a presentation by the Wrocław theatre school.  Their tutor, Krzisztof, spoke via a translator about his methods and the current work and practice of his students, showing a film of the previous year’s performance, and ending with the students giving a presentation of current work in progress.  Krzisztof left immediately after this, apparently to perform in a theatrical venture of his own, and we were given the opportunity to ask the students of the school questions in his absence.

After this, we were provided consecutively with a dinner of salads, a film of Pina Bausch and some tea.  We then made our way to a restaurant for gulasz, fried cheese, pierogi and beer, and have just found our way home.

This represents a reasonably objective record of the events of the day; our individual opinions on it will follow.

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