Any new show by Complicité is a pretty big deal so we’re thrilled that the company bring their latest work to The Lowry’s stage this April. Building on their huge success with shows like Can I Live, The Encounter and The Master and The Margarita, Complicité present a brand-new performance – 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 offers a visceral and poetic exploration of eco-friendly living, animal rights and contemporary European society.
We’re thrilled that Kathryn Hunter will take the central role of Janina Duszejko.
A tale about the world around us, poetry, and the limitations and possibilities of activism.
Thought-provoking and droll, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead has been described as both “a suspenseful murder mystery” and also a “meditation on human existence”. A tale about the world around us, poetry, and the limitations and possibilities of activism.
Set during the depths of winter on a remote mountainside, the story charts a series of gruesome, mysterious deaths happening in a small, sleepy community on the Polish-Czech border. Veering between comedic and macabre, the story is told through the eyes of Janina Duszejko, an eccentric and reclusive character who lives alone in the woods. With her own suspicions around the unexplained events, Janina has observed some strange behaviours from the animals who also inhabit the rural and isolated village.
This thrilling Complicité production marks the first time Tokarczuk’s work has been adapted for the UK stage.
When Tokarczuk’s novel was first published in Poland in 2009 it was attacked as “eco-terrorism”, with many right-wing press branding the writer a “national traitor”. It wasn’t until 2018 that the novel was brilliantly translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Now, this thrilling Complicité production marks the first time Tokarczuk’s work has been adapted for the UK stage.
Of the stage adaptation, Complicité Artistic Director, Simon McBurney told us, “Olga Tokarczuk has created an extraordinary world that speaks to my deepest sense of the continuity between humankind and nature – a world where, like a mycelium web, all entities are connected deeply at the roots, unable to exist alone. Tokarczuk is a prophet for our times who understands us in all our hilarity, messiness, cruelty and animalism, and it is a great privilege to bring to the stage what is surely one of literature’s most urgent accounts of being alive today.”
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is one of our top cultural picks for 2023.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead brings an impressive ensemble cast to the stage; a talented blend of long-standing Complicité collaborators and new performers working with the company for the first time. We’re thrilled that Kathryn Hunter will take the central role of Janina Duszejko, a former engineer and environmentalist who spends most of her time studying astrology and enthusiastically translating the poetry of William Blake into Polish. Hunter will be joined on stage by Thomas Arnold, Johannes Flaschberger, Amanda Hadingue, Kiren Kebaili-Dwyer, Weronika Maria, Tim McMullan, César Sarachu, Sophie Steer and Alexander Uzoka.
Founded in 1983, Complicité are one of Europe’s leading theatre companies and we’re huge fans of their work. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is the latest of the company’s projects to urgently address the destruction of the planet. Always raising awareness of the state of our planet and art’s role in encouraging activism, the company have previously presented Figures in Extinction, a prestigious Swan Award-winner that will receive its UK premiere in Sadlers Wells in April 2023 and Can I Live?, a film presented as part of the official programme for COP26.
Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead is one of our top cultural picks for 2023.