<- realizacje krajowe | <- realizacje zagraniczne



Scarlet Theatre

Werner Schwab

The Chair Women (Prezydentki)


Scenografia, wizualizacje: Andrzej Sadowski

Współpraca reżyserska: Grainne Byrne / Gavin Quinn

Muzyka: Nigel Piper

Reżyseria światła: Mark Dymock



Grainne Byrne, Joanna Brokes, Jasmina Daniel, Abbey Norman, Nina Fog, Dulcie Lewis


Premiera: Riverside Studios, październik 2004


“A crackling translation by David Hale…pulsating with Schwab’s absurdist, cruel and deeply scatological world view, and acted with much relish for the grim material – this is the productions impressive heart of darkness. ”
The Guardian

“The fantasies of these women – beautifully embodied by Jasmina Daniel, Joanna Brookes and Grainne Byrne – hop from pious banality to touching naivety to shocking obscenity and back. Pan Pan’s Borgesian tunnel of camera lenses and video screens does hold a satirical sting, though: the bracing start of them watching us, watching them, watching us.”
The Irish Times FOUR STARS

“One of the festival’s most experimental and challenging shows…Schwab would likely have appreciated how this production transforms his play into a reality TV show.”
Irish Independent FIVE STARS

“Bitingly funny and unsettlingly dark.”

Cleanliness is next to hilarious in this brush with the reality of TV. Scarlet harnesses this prurient contemporary media staple for its own intellectually provocative and savagely funny ends. Scarlet's lead actresses deploy the text with relish, grounding the stylised exaggeration of their portrayals in an emotionally nuanced truth…the effect is horrifying and hilarious. As entertainment and social critique The Chair Women is both relevant and laugh-out-loud cruel.”
The Times (FOUR STARS)

“Memorable performances”
The Scotsman

“Sickeningly clever and superbly executed…. What’s unquestionable is the acting is superb and the cast draw you in…. I urge you to go”

“Scarlet Theatre, working with Director Katarzyna Deszcz and translator David Hale, find a darker and yet funnier tone…. Desczc creates another intriguing layer for Schwab’s bizarre text.”
Time Out


Scarlet Theatre presents                                     

The Chair Women

“a reality theatre show”

Scarlet Theatre presents The Chair Women, a multimedia international collaboration between Britain, Ireland and Poland.

The Chair Women is David Hale’s translation of Die Präsidentinnen by the Austrian playwright Werner Schwab, whose stylized and comical re-invention of the German language helped establish him as an exciting new dramatist of the early 1990’s. Through his highly idiosyncratic use of explicit subject matter and vulgar language, he set out to confront notions of good taste. Schwab died at the age of 36, before the critical world had become accustomed to his provocative style and cynical attitude towards the suburban provincial Austria he satirized. The Chair Women is a highly surrealistic appraisal of bourgeois society in which the characters’ fantasies are just as present as their realities. Schwab portrays the violence, obscenity and filth that lie beneath the surface of our social conventions.

Thanks to funding from the European Commission’s Culture 2000, Scarlet Theatre is able to collaborate with Pan Pan from Ireland and Katarzyna Deszcz and Andrzej Sadowski for Ludowy Theatre, Poland to explore Schwab’s black comedy within the framework of Reality TV. Scarlet will use Die Präsidentinnen to create a multimedia performance in which the audience’s reactions become part of the evening’s entertainment. By presenting the play in the context of a television studio and through mixing live and recorded footage, The Chair Women attempts to hold a mirror up to the viewing public’s current obsession with the misrepresented world of reality TV.

The audience witnesses the filming of three ageing women watching their second-hand television, listening to the Pope and talking about their miserable lives. Erna has a malicious child, Grete has a poop-eating dog whilst Mariedl is in seventh heaven cleaning toilets. As they sit and drink they start to share a fantasy about an elaborate Gala where they each crave the limelight. When real life spoils the dream, violence ensues. In the final scene, the women watch themselves being performed by younger actresses and the audience also plays its part. In this blackest of black comedies, Schwab forces us to recognize that we all have the same basic dreams as those people we normally ignore or look upon with distaste.

Katarzyna Deszcz from Poland directs The Chair Women, her fifth show for Scarlet following her co-direction of Love and Other Fairy Tales in 2002. The multimedia and film project is headed by Gavin Quinn and Aedin Cosgrove from Pan Pan in Dublin, and implemented by SDNA in London. The cast includes Scarlet’s Artistic Director, Grainne Byrne, Joanna Brookes, Jasmina Daniel, Abbey Norman, Nina Fog and Dulcie Lewis. The set and costumes are designed by Andrzej Sadowski, lighting is by Mark Dymock and the original sound score is by Nigel Piper.

The Chair Women will premiere at Trinity Theatre Tunbridge Wells from 14 – 18 September and will then tour the UK, Poland and Ireland including a three week London run at Riverside Studios from 12 – 31 October. The production has been co-commissioned by Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, Riverside Studios and Darlington Arts Centre.  Support has been gratefully received from Arts Council England, The British Council, The Polish Cultural Institute, The Austrian Cultural Forum and the Association of London Government.