“Lovelies and Dowdies”

Richard Demarco1973

Theatre Institute in Warsaw

Theatre Institute in Warsaw
Warszaw, Poland

In his text “Moja droga do teatru śmierci”[My Way towards the Theatre of Death], Kantor writes: “In ‘Lovelies and Dowdies’, at the Impossible Theatre, I set a trap to catch illusion. The whole performance actually took place in a cloakroom, or the reality of the lowest rank in the theatre. Especially in Poland, the cloakroom is a place everyone wants to steer clear of, but it is brutal and indispensable. (…) So the entire performance occurred in the place of the lowest rank – in the cloakroom. There were two cloakroom attendants, who imposed their cloakroom rules not only on the audience but also on the play – on all the artists. The artists were demoted to the level of the cloakroom. But I did leave a breach: I set up a backstage. It was the last room, hidden behind a sliding door carrying the inscription: Theatre Entrance. And behind that door there was the theatre. Nobody could go there. Actors who gathered there were thrown out because actors always strive for fiction and illusion. It was my great discovery after many years that actors strive for illusion and that it was where they belonged. They were immediately thrown out of there and what they represented went on before the eyes of the audience in the cloakroom, which was – after all – a room, a colossal one. The equipment of the cloakroom looked a bit like that in a slaughterhouse. The actors, thrown out from the outside theatre, represented to the audience their remains, the remains of what they experienced in that illusion, which they presented in an invisible way (…). The theatre, the whole Witkiewicz thing, was happening behind the door. What the audience was able to watch were the remains the actors threw out of themselves after being pushed out from behind the door.”


  • Title: “Lovelies and Dowdies”
  • Creator: Richard Demarco
  • Date: 1973
  • Location: Foresthill Theatre, Edynburg

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