Saturday, 13 June 2009

Noc Teatrów

You rotten lot! Why didn't anyone tell me last night was Noc Teatrów? What, I have to find these things out for myself now?? Whaddya think I am, flippin' Cracow Life?!

Luckily, yesterday afternoon I went for coffee with a friend, who then invited me to a cabaret in the evening.

- So, hang on, the cabaret's in English?

So it turned out.

- How much is it?
- It's free: some theatre night festival or something.

Distinct 'ping' of a penny suddenly dropping.

I've never made it to Noc Teatrów before: last year I wasn't in Kraków, and the year before... I have no idea where I was. In any case, it's slightly more complicated than the better-known Noc Museów: you usually have to ring up and reserve in advance (Polish link here), which is less foreigner-friendly, and - as I just found out after a quick flick through Google - it's not very well publicised in English.

So I was really pleased to finally have the chance to experience it first hand.

We got tickets, through a friend of a friend who knew someone in the troupe, to the English cabaret in Cafe Moliere on Szewska. You know my policy on linguistic immersion and on avoiding the English language like that acquaintance you forgot to send a Christmas card to but we were with other anglophones and it was fun, so why not?

The cabaret was actually excellent: emphasis was put on presenting stereotypical Polish traditions through audience participation, which began with a round of (admittedly not full-strength) shots of something and evolved into a big congo-style Polonaise, via competitive singing (with the audience divided into Nowaks and Kowalskis* - I did say stereotypical) and dressing-up of one very good sport as a Szlachta noble.

It was very different from my first Polish cabaret experience, about a year and a half ago in Loch Camelot.
The Camelot cabaret involved a lot more actors, a pianist, and a series of very clever and apparently hilarious songs.

A well-meaning Polish friend invited me to help me become acquainted with Polish culture. Having been in Poland for only six months, I managed to catch the odd word here and there.

My friend was having a whale of a time.

- Oh this is very funny, you know what, it's an in-joke because there's this writer... hang on, they're starting again, I'll explain it to you at the next break... (undisguised mirth).

I was left in the dark.

I'd like to go back and try again, now that I feel I've learnt a bit more of the language: maybe I'd understand a bit more this time. And if not... Camelot has an excellent selection of drinki to help with my cultural experience.

* Grammar corner: uh... Kowalscy and umm... Nowakowie??


Anonymous said...

Pinolona, read this (once again).

And no more excuses!!! ;)

pinolona said...

oh yeah, we're definitely going to Wianki!!

Anonymous said...

* Yep, Kowalscy i Nowakowie.

pinolona said...

i know I ask for it, but damn I'm sick of having my grammar corrected all the time! Here's to the start of a normal life, where I can open my mouth to speak without feeling ashamed of my own existance!

Island1 said...

Did too tell you. In fact my better half invited you to come along to her performance.

I diagnose memory loss due to overenthusiastic imbibing in Lwow.

pinolona said...

oh crap, yes you did! That explains why I have 'Uciecha' written in my diary... I thought maybe it was an imperative form.

Island1 said...

There's a good commedy idea in there somewhere - conscienciously writting things down in Polish in your diary and then not understanding what the hell they mean when the day comes.