REŻYSER POLSKI W TEATRZE ANGIELSKIM I POLSKIM
POLISH DIRECTOR IN ENGLISH AND POLISH THEATRE
Languages of publication
Helena Kaut-Howson, internationally acclaimed theatre director, resident in UK since 1995, describes her career and experiences as a theatre maker, looking on it from the point of view of her contribution as a Polish artist to the cultural scene of Great Britain. Born and educated in Poland, having gained her degrees and diplomas both in Poland and UK, Helena Kaut-Howson has a strong afiliation with her Polish background and cultural if not necessarily national heritage. Her views on the role of foreign artists in the largely insular theatre scene in Britain have been shaped by extensive experience of working in most major theatres in this country, from regional repertory companies to London West End and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She describes her struggles over the years to establish her position and evolve an individual style of expression, overcoming considerable resistance both as a woman and a foreigner. It was mainly as an artistic director of eatre Clwyd (Wales) a regional theatre which she raised to international prominence, that she gained reputation for enriching British theatre with her vision. Since then and for many years aer her work has been appreciated for innovatory approach and for investing her in terpretation of English classics with a new refreshing quality, oen associated with the director’s Polish background. The article points out key diverences between the theatre culture in England and in Poland both bound up intrinsically with tradition and history. Helena Kaut-Howson’s experience outside of the United Kingdom confirmed her view of a theatre as an expression of national identity, this being true of all theatres including the marginally more outward looking Polish theatre. at’s why she looks upon her role as an Artistic Caretaker of the Polish Stage Company, UK which she founded in 2004 as essentially separate and based on diverent principles (though still on the highest artistic criteria) from her work as a British and international theatre director. If the former serves to maintain and strengthen the cultural identity of Poles abroad, the latter has to play to the interests and expectations of the British, only occasionally provoking them to broaden their perspective.
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