język polskijęzyk angielski

Come back

Female cast
Male cast
Original language of the play
Cast details
+ Leśne Dziadki/Forest Elders (*Polish guerrilla fighters in World War II that operated mainly in forests and kept reminiscing about their past after the war
Original title

A strange, oneiric story about returning to your home town. A wandering musician, quite alike Bob Dylan, appears after many years in his own home, but there are already strangers living there and nobody explains anything to him. The story is based on the fate of the survivors of the Holocaust in Radom, persecuted after the war by Poles who occupied their homes. Understatements and symbols create an atmosphere of mystery like in the series Twin Peaks [...] The atmosphere is defused by a perverse, anarchistic ending. The memory of the past casts a shadow over the lives of the drama's characters. With Bobby's appearance, the trauma of roundups, escapes, denunciations and transportations to gas chambers returns. The tragic experiences of war and being witnesses of extermination make the characters feel compelled to repeat and process history over and over again.

- monthly magazine „Dialog” nr 4/2018 and Gdynia Drama Award website


Come back is a picture of Polish-Jewish relations reduced to a poetic micro-scale, where the Jew returns to his own home, although there is no home waiting for him - but you can find much more in Pilarski's drama. For example, a play on the ideals of Poland and its most sophisticated ideas, revealed in the issues of the Forest Elders, who serve as a vulgarised antique choir here. One can see a small stabilisation, like the one proposed by Różewicz half a century later, but flavoured with spice known from today's news and newspapers. It is not without reason that Esterka, and above all Gombrowicz, appears among the characters. Although this is just a coincidence of names, it is well known who Gombrowicz was for Radom, so it's clear he must appear in a play set in this town. In Pilarski's case, however, it is not only a spectacular dramatic trick, but also a clue given to interpreters. The oneiric layer of the play brings to mind not only Lynch's Twin Peaks, but also The Wedding, where everything we see takes place in Henryk's persistent nightmare.

− from Jacek Wakar’s preface to the anthology Poland is a myth. New dramas.


Pilarski's text is a linguistic drama, using tricks known from New Wave poetry, such as juggling word clichés, phraseologisms, worn out proverbs, quotations that merge to form a jarring neighborhood ("In March, like in a pot, and in Poland, like whoever wants to", "The most important is invisible to the eyes. What the eyes can't see, that heart doesn't regret"). And the exposing discourse of the ABC-book (repeated like a mantra "butter is not cheap"). Mother, Daughter, Son, Forest Elders, Esterka and Gombrowicz are not "real" characters, but bits and pieces, linguistics mannerisms. This way of writing has been associated with Masłowska's "Między nami dobrze jest" ("It's good between us"), but while the author of "Paw królowej" ("The Queen's Peacock") describes "Polishness" with some strange, sadomasochistic fondness, in Pilarski's case there is no buffo, there's only terror.

− Izabella Adamczewska, Gazeta Wyborcza-Łódź online