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The Greeks are demanding the return of Helen. The Trojans meet. Paris wants to keep her. Antenor argues for her return. Priam will have to determine which route is the more advantageous or disadvantageous for the state.

Be part of a Read Not Dead first: This script-in-hand performance is being staged simultaneously in Warsaw as well as in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on the 30 June 2019.

Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys is written by Polish playwright, Jan Kochanowski, and will be performed in English in a translation by Charles Kraszewski. Regarded as the father of Polish verse, Kochansowki’s play was the first tragedy written and performed in Polish and was presented at a wedding in Warsaw in 1579. A simultaneous staging of the play, in the original Polish, will take place on the site of that original performance. Readings are also taking place in New York, Los Angeles, Madrid and Athens.

The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys will be followed by a reading of Kochanowski’s moving Laments, written following the death of his 2 year old daughter, in an English translation by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney and Stanislaw Baranczak. Heaney regarded the Laments as Poland’s equivalent of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Instinctive, adrenalin-filled and inventive, the Read Not Dead ground rules are simple. Actors rehearse the play on a Sunday morning and present it, script-in-hand, to an audience later that afternoon. The Read Not Dead series is dedicated to reviving plays from the early modern period.

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national institution of culture. Its mission is to support the Polish culture brand through active participation in the international cultural exchange. The Institute implements cultural projects among others in Europe, Asia, North and South America. The Institute promotes Polish culture around the world among others via Culture.pl, the news portal which brings updates about the key trends and developments in Polish culture and about cultural events organised in Poland and abroad.

Shakespeare and Poland Festival

A two-week celebration of Poland’s particular affinity and fascination with Shakespeare’s plays, that embraces live theatre, film, illustration, music and song.

Discover what’s on during the festival



£12 Members/Student

£5 standing

*A £2.50 transaction fee per order applies online

Running time: Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, including a 15 minute interval

Part of the Shakespeare and Poland Festival 

Part of Read Not Dead

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