THE STREET OF CROCODILES

Théâtre de Complicité

The following is taken from the programme notes 1994

It is 1949. Bruno Schulz, writer, schoolteacher, and "useful Jew" is made to work for the Nazis in occupied Poland. He is sorting banned books for destruction. From their pages rise vivid images from his past.

He revisits the magical world of his father's shop - his father in fact a provincial tailor, for Bruno "that fencing master of imagination" waging war against empty days. Father is eternally preoccupied with the mystery of creation, the life that lies sleeping in the weave of a cloth, and with the rare birds he has hatched out in the attic of the house. Whether in the house or under sleepy August skies, father sows confusion and laughter in equal measure.

Adela, the servant-girl is his arch-enemy.

"One day Adela suddenly appeared in Father's bird kingdom and with the help of a long broom, she danced the dance of destruction". Father disappears and Bruno is unable to recall him.

He searches for him in the sanatorium. He finds him for a brief moment. He disappears again. Perhaps he has died. Bruno refuses to believe it. He insists that his mother keep the family business going exactly as before, but nothing is as before. The old world of his father is disappearing, the new world is lurching out of control - like the creations of Bruno's imagination.

"There, in those charred, many raftered forests of attics, darkness began to degenerate and ferment wildly... Night came... The wind intensified in force and violence..."

ACT 1

ACT OF REMEMBRANCE

ACT 2

THE AGE OF GENIUS

THE CLASS

THE TEACHER

CHILDREN'S GAMES

THE SHOP OF CHILDHOOD MEMORY

FATHER'S BEAUTIFUL SHOP

THE CALAPHONY FROM MALABAR

FAMILY DINNER

AUGUST

THE BIRDS

THE CLASS

TANGO

ACT 3

THE REPUBLIC OF DREAMS

THE BRANCH LINE OF TIME

THE SANATORIUM

FATHER'S DEMISE

THE ERLKÖNIG - MOTHER'S STORY

THE EMPTY SHOP

THE LANDAU - MOTHER'S STORY

ACT 4

ACT OF DESTRUCTION

THE WORSHIPPERS OF BAAL.

THE FALL OF BIRDS

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