Society Belief, 20 August 2020

The Curse, Theatre Against Church Hegemony

Investigation by Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

Can the influence of the Catholic Church on secular institutions and individual decisions be curtailed? Is the artistic environment being subjected to censorship, or even self-censorship? What about our private lives? These are some of the questions prompted by The Curse, a theatrical show directed by Oliver Frlijć. Considered blasphemous, it caused a major scandal, divided public opinion and put Polish democracy as well as the independence of secular institutions to the test. For several weeks in May 2017, representatives of the extreme right, ultra-nationalists and fundamentalist Catholics besieged the theatre where The Curse was being staged, attacking the audience with smoke-bombs, crackers and insults. Nevertheless, the play has not stopped being performed since it opened in February 2017, and always to a full house.