język polskijęzyk angielski

Welcome, Barabbas

Female cast
Male cast
Original language of the play
Original title
Witaj Barabaszu

We are watching a TV talk show "On the edge of a knife", featuring "briefcases" of confidential information, God, abortion, euthanasia. The programme is run by Barabbas, who is hailed as the "Golden Boy of Television" and for whom, as he says, the most righteous God is the audience. What happened to Barabbas when, miraculously saved, he gained a chance for a new life,' Jarosław Jakubowski wonders, as he repeats after Herbert.

Barabbas admits that he has trouble getting out of character, taking on more masks, and has the impression that his "life is a continuous TV show". He is as confident as he is lying. Appearing to have an open discussion, he does not allow the voices inconvenient for him to speak. For viewers, he is an objective moral authority, but - although he says goodbye to his wife Madeleine with the words of Saint Louis to Mary "Totus tuus" - he rents a room with his lover for hours. He won Madeleine's affections by fighting fiercely for her, not so much out of love as out of jealousy for his colleague (with the nickname "Messiah"): courage, moral infallibility, and a woman by his side, as if from a beautiful picture. So he got involved in order to take over at least the last one. And he did it when a friend, after someone else's denunciation, found himself in prison for a long time. Did he denounce Barabbas? We don't know, although, apart from uncertain signatures on the documents, there are other indications. One of them is Barabbas' fear that Jack appeared in the city and that he might want something from him.

Jack, the former hero - that Messiah whom people sentenced to be crucified, saving the life of a villain - is a loser. He drinks, looks like an old man, and has to borrow money to make a living. He was raped and beaten for a long time in prison, from which he never recovered, becoming a "bitch" forever. He never came to terms with losing Madeleine. But it's not just about her. He wants Barabbas to face the truth.

The fairy tale writer Madeleine once made a choice and is consistent. Ready to fight for her husband through any means, ready to pay in cash and with her own body for Jack's disappearance from their lives forever. Partially because she is not so sure about her former choice.  She's not so sure of her husband's innocence either. But she doesn't want to discuss it. She prefers to put her fears on the pages of a fairy tale, in life she tries to focus on the present moment - just like her husband. Jack's appearance interferes a little with these efforts:

We both don’t like to dwell on the past.
Because we like what’s here and now.
You’re right.
Here and now is beyond compare.
And he seems to be stuck in the past.
That’s his right.
He wants to suck us in."

Will Barabbas and Madeleine let themselves be sucked into the past?

This play is a battle of attitudes. On the one hand between Barabbas and Messiah, but also between Guest I and Guest II, who pronounce in the studio the familiar arguments of the two sides of the Polish political scene. "This drama - as the author writes - asks a question about the price you pay for staying loyal to your truth".