Guernica (Theatre Incarnate)

Theatre Incarnate‘s wordless physical theatre production of Guernica (2008) follows three lost souls thru a unique and ghastly absurd theatrical experience of cyclical violence. From an original scenario/physical imagery created by Polish director Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, Guernica combines Magda’s “Illustrative Performing Technique” with influences from Picasso’s nightmare impressionistic painting (of the same title).

Guernica, Photo by Ryszard Hunka

The setting is pre-historic, or post-apocalyptic, or perhaps not even of this earth. Two women and a man emerge from scabrous eggs, blind and senseless. They discover themselves, each other, and their own voracious appetites for food, sex, ritual and destruction. In other words, they pretty much trace humankind’s rise from the ashes, and its imminent return there.

Brenda McLean, Mia Star van Leeuwen and Delf Gravert are superb. The work that went into the faultless choreography is evidenced by the bruises that are plainly visible on the performers’ bodies. The bruises are ugly and real. Like Guernica. 

Mike O’Brien, CBC

Original Scenario:
Based on the works of Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (Teatr Korzenie) production of Replika 8 and Josef Szajna’s productions of Replika.

Brenda McLean and Cast

Delf Gravert
Brenda McLean
Mia van Leeuwen

Direction/Production Design:
Brenda McLean

Lighting Design:
Eric Bossé

Sound Design:
Delf Gravert and Brenda McLean

Poster Design:
Dave Pruden

Photography: Ryszard Hunka + Leif Norman

Painting of Guernica by Arlea Ashcroft