Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the DeadA new Complicité production directed by Simon McBurney
The international touring company Complicité presents a new work for the theatre, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, directed by Simon McBurney.
Based on Nobel Prize winning author Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of the same name, the darkly comic, anarchic noir caused a seismic reaction in Tokarczuk’s native Poland due to its defiant attack on authoritarian structures, with right-wing press branding the writer an ‘eco-terrorist’ and national traitor.
The story unfolds through the eyes of 65 year-old local woman, Janina – itself a radical act in a society which seeks to render older women invisible. Janina is engaged in fierce resistance against the injustices around her, and refuses to be a prisoner of society and gender. Her actions ask questions both of the male world which surrounds her and of our deeper human intentions. What does it mean to be human and what does it mean to be animal, and can we separate the two? Why is the killing of animals sport and that of humans murder?
Drive Your Plow’s story begins in the depths of winter in a small community on a remote Polish mountainside near the Czech-Polish border. Men from the local hunting club are dying in mysterious circumstances and Janina Duszejko – an eccentric 65 year-old local woman, ex-engineer, environmentalist, amateur astronomer and enthusiastic translator of William Blake – has her suspicions. She has been watching the animals with whom the community shares their isolated, rural home, and she believes they are acting strangely…
A thought-provoking, wry and other worldly murder mystery, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a love letter to the natural world and the poetry of Blake. It is also a scathing reproach of toxic masculinity, the treatment of the marginalised, and the hypocrisy of institutional power.
McBurney has a reputation as one of the most singular talents of his generation
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The Telegraph on Complicite's The Encounter
A Complicité co-production with Barbican London, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Bristol Old Vic, Holland Festival, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, L'Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, The Lowry, The National Theatre of Iceland, Oxford Playhouse, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Theatre Royal Plymouth
Photographer credit: Stephen Gill / Night Procession 2017
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A tour-de-force that shows contemporary theatre at its most immersive and thought provoking
Financial Times on Complicité's The Encounter
A new Complicité show isn't just a devised play: it's a theatrical event. At the company's inimitable best, it is a ticket to another world
Time Out on Complicité's The Master and Margarita
★ ★ ★ ★
Brilliant and necessary
The Stage on Complicité's Can I Live?