The Bat

The Bat
Opened: 20th September 2012 TR Warszawa, Poland
Running Time: 1 hrs 15 mins

It is in the middle of winter - a few days before New Year’s Eve. Several families that have never met before are gathering in the unsettling and cold interiors of the same institution in a remote location. They are making preparations to spend the last night of the year together evoking the sweet strains of the famous operetta The Bat by Johann Strauss, Jr. Though they are to spend only a few days there, quite a few of them have sacrificed a lot to be able to make it to the opportunity. Nothing, neither time nor money, was too much for them to put on stake, some even ran the risk of losing their reputations by getting admission to the place. Some of them are young, others - old, some are married, others - single. The only feature that makes them similar is that they are most keen on getting to know whether a human being can take the liberty to perform the act of God.


Kornél Mundruczó, the director of the play: "In fact, I used motives and certain songs only from Strauss’ operetta. Our piece is rather a new play, with two parallel stories about euthanasia. I believe that operetta is deliberately a genre talking about death. (…) One of the story lines is about a conductor who used to conduct the operetta, The Bat by Strauss regularly on New Year’s Eve. The other is the tragedy of a paralysed boy who decides to undergo euthanasia, but his condition deteriorates to the point that he cannot sign the necessary legal papers."

From the reviews

"To say that Mundruczó’s adaptation staged at TR Warszawa is perfect in to say nothing at all. The Bat is like a never-ending dance on the edge of a knife, pirouette at the verge of a chasm, race bordering between dignity and disgrace. Actors surprise us with their versatility when they swiftly morph from realistic acting to grotesque, operetta-like conventions. They change moods as if they were zapping through channels with a remote control, leading the audience to the ultimate confusion. Jocular seriousness or serious joke – they own it all!" (Roman Pawłowski - Gazeta Wyborcza)


"Mundruczó achieves something amazing right before our very eyes. By stirring up a storm of music and theatre, he makes death look at itself in the mirror of a silly operetta. (…) You can experience The Bat as a perverse game, entertainment carrying a horrifying stigma. But not for long. Soon, you’ll start thinking: Can it be that Kornél Mundruczó opened Pandora’s box, so far closed in Polish theatre, with important topics begging to be discussed with a bit of humor and in an attractive form, yet seriously?" (Jacek Wakar - Wprost)


"TR Warszawa is, once again, the first one to touch on one of the most controversial social issues." (Jacek Cieślak - Rzeczpospolita)


"Mundruczó masterfully points to the dilemma between free will and legal regulation that surrounds euthanasia." (Igor Stokfiszewski - Krytyka Polityczna)

Festival invitations

-Teatr Wybrzeze 2013. Gdansk, Poland

-Kalisz International Theatre Festival 2013. Kalisz, Poland

-Trafó House of Contemporary Arts 2013. Budapest, Hungary

-Boska Comedia Theatre Festival 2013. Krakow, Poland

-International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant 2014. Lodz, Poland

-23rd International Festival Theatre 2015. Pilsen, Czech Republic


-Best performance of 2012. Telewizija Polska, Poland

-Best company - Kalisz International Theatre Festival 2013. Kalisz, Poland

-Best performance - Boska Comedia Theatre Festival 2013. Krakow, Poland

-Best actress: Roma Gasiorowska - Boska Comedia Theatre Festival 2013. Krakow, Poland

Performance of TR WARSZAWA