Sunday, November 14 | 19:30 | Schauspielhaus | main stage
THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS
written and performed by Matthew Zajac [Scotland]
THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS is a story of journeys, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) came to be a tailor in Inverness. His life spanned most of the 20th century. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 and forced to work east of the Urals, freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He then joined the thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to be integrated into the British Army, fighting in North Africa and Italy. He was resettled in Britain in 1948 and joined his brother in Glasgow. This is the story Mateusz Zajac told his son. And although it did happen to a lot of people, it was not exactly what happened to him.
For his show, Zajac puts on glasses, picks up a needle and becomes his father. This solo docudrama is a story of survival, of rootlessness, of wanting to fit in and be accepted. Its universality resonates strongly with audiences – everywhere in the world there are people who are forced to leave their homes and families.
Zajac is accompanied by a fiddler, and a range of video and audiovisual material, but it is his narrative, a powerful and unforgettable exploration of identity, that takes hold of the audiences worldwide.
Since its premiere in 2008, THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS has won several awards – from Scotsman Fringe First Award (Edinburgh) to Holden Streets Theatre Award (Adelaide). In 2009, Matthew Zajac won the Best Actor Award at the annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. 'A beautifully realised tale of the reality of survival in war-torn Eastern Europe' (Observer); 'In case it isn't clear yet my advice is don't miss it' (Radio Adelaide); 'A masterpiece' (Collette L, Adelaide).
directed by Ben Harrison
violin: Gavin Marwick
Polish voice: Magdalena Kaleta
set and costume design: Ali Maclaurin
light design: Kai Fischer
video design: Tim Reid
sound design: Timothy Brinkhurst
produced by Dogstar Theatre, Inverness
Supported by Polish Consulate General, Hamburg and Mr. Willy Rogalla, Göttingen
language: English, Polish | running time: 75 minutes | out-of-competition performance