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DYP PLYMOUTH 10 Foto Camilla Adams

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

by Complicité

Based on the novel by Olga Tokarczuk

Directed by Simon McBurney

Co-production with Complicité

German Premiere

I see the Earth in eclipse. I see us moving about blindly in eternal Gloom, like May bugs trapped in a box by a cruel child. It’s easy to harm and injure us, to smash up our intricately assembled, bizarre existence… I see nothing but Catastrophes. But as the Fall is the beginning, can we possibly fall even lower?’ - Janina Duszejko, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Based on Nobel Prize winning author Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of the same name, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a new work for theatre conceived and directed by Simon McBurney. Tokarczuk’s controversial, violent, genre defying novel – part thriller, part comedy, and part blistering poetic manifesto for the rights of animals and the environment – caused an uproar in its native Poland upon publication.

In the depths of winter in a small community on a remote Polish mountainside near the Czech-Polish border, men from the local hunting club are dying in mysterious circumstances and Janina Duszejko – an eccentric older local woman, ex-engineer, environmentalist, devoted astrologer and enthusiastic translator of William Blake – has her suspicions. She has been watching the animals with whom the community share their isolated, rural home, and she believes they are acting strangely…

DYP artwork
Artwork by Patryk Hardziej
Olga Tokarczuk Łukasz Giza
Olga Tokarczuk © Łukasz Giza
Simon Mc Burney Jorri Kristjánsson
Simon McBurney © Jorri Kristjánsson

Supported by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen

Ministerium Fuer Kultur Und Wissenschaft Nrw Farbig Cmyk

Adapted from the novel by Olga Tokarczuk
Directed by Simon McBurney
Set and Costume Design: Rae Smith
Lighting Design: Paule Constable
Sound Design: Christopher Shutt
Video Design: Dick Straker
Additional Direction: Kirsty Housley
Dramaturgy by Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre and Laurence Cook
Movement Direction: Toby Sedgwick
Original compositions: Richard Skelton
Assistant Director: Gemma Brockis
Associate Costume Designer Johanna Coe
Wigs Designer: Susanna Peretz
Original Novel Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

CDG Casting: Amy Ball

Cast: Thomas Arnold, Johannes Flaschberger, Amanda Hadingue, Kathryn Hunter, Kiren Kebaili-Dwyer, Weronika Maria, Tim McMullan, César Sarachu, Sophie Steer, Alexander Uzoka

Running time: 3 hours

Age: 12+

Language: in English with German surtitles

Foto: Camilla Adams

A Complicité co-production with Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Barbican London, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Bristol Old Vic, Comédie de Genève, Holland Festival, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, L'Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, The Lowry, The National Theatre of Iceland, Oxford Playhouse and Theatre Royal Plymouth.