Worldwide celebration of Polish Renaissance writer

“The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys” by Jan Kochanowski, the father of Polish verse, was presented on Sunday in Warsaw, New York, Los Angeles, Athens, Madrid, and London.

In each venue, local actors gave script-in-hand performances of what was the first Polish tragedy.

Premiered in Warsaw in 1578, it recounts an incident leading up to the Trojan War.

The “World Reads Kochanowski” project was the brainchild of the Warsaw-based Adam Mickiewicz Institute. It was presented in collaboration with the Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Theatre Institute in the Polish capital.

The performative reading of Kochanowski’s play in London was followed by a reading of the poet’s Laments, in a translation by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney and Poland’s Stanisław Barańczak.

Kochanowski wrote Laments following the death of his two-year-old daughter.

The Kochanowski event at London’s Globe Theatre was part of the Shakespeare and Poland Festival, which runs until July 6.

Its highlights, on July 4, include Hamlet Study and The Death of Ophelia by Polish playwright, painter and Shakespeare interpreter Stanisław Wyspiański, who was born 150 years ago.

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