Underground Absolute Fiction

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Speculative Theatre
July 23 | 7 pm  | ASL

See the video recording below to enjoy this event at any time for the duration of the festival.
Or, join us as we stream Underground Absolute Fiction a second time on Sun Jul 26 at our Pajama Party!
Click bottom right of screen to enlarge.
  • Official welcome from QAF
  • Underground Absolute Fiction – co-produced by the Queer Arts Festival and the Frank Theatre

Our presentations may include recording of live, unrehearsed ASL interpretation targeted to a specific audience. Interpreting services provided electronically are often subject to vagaries of the internet connection and, in addition, may include errors or omissions.

An immersive play-meets-punk-concert, inspired by the Polish “home theatre.” Written by Anais West and co-produced by Queer Arts Festival and the frank theatre.

Written by Anais West
Directed by Fay Nass
Dramaturged by Veronique West
Featuring: AJ Simmons, Claire Love Wilson, Julia Siedlanowska and Sara Vickruck.
Cultural Consultant: Julia Siedlanowska

“I wish you great journeys, nightmares, and an afterworld…
…I wish you tears, a knife, and blood…
That you should sing and conspire.
That God should watch over you
and that you should not need Him.
That they should not hang you
before you’ve had time to pack your suitcase
my friend…”
Quote from The Files (2007) devised by Teatr Ósmego Dnia
Translated by Bill Johnston from Polish

Close your eyes.

Excerpt from Underground Absolute Fiction (2020)
by Anais West
 #1 — Pamięć i fantazja (Memory and Fantasy)
Polish Punks in the 1980s — by Ania Dąbrowska-Lyons — part of Polski punk 1978-1982
Punks in 1980s Communist Hungary — photo by Tamás Urbán

It’s summer, and you’re standing in the centre of a low-income housing development. It’s a generation after your mother left, and time or capitalism has made everything palatable. She said the apartments were brutal grey slabs. Now, after the fall of Communism, they’re painted pastel pink. She said there was no playground, only a single iron monkey-bar and a dry tuft of yellow grass. Now, the EU money has paid for fresh wood-shavings, slides, swings, and climbing contraptions, all in primary colours. You squint at the schoolyard, where your mother and her classmates wore black, sung political anthems and defied their Communist teachers. Now, kids giggle and swing tennis rackets.

It feels almost idyllic, and you think of the propaganda postcards — posed, curated images of families suntanning outside the Falowiec, filtered yellow. Outside the frame, tanks rolled by, the phones were tapped, and your mom’s friend cried on the stairs in a torn dress.

There. You see it. The window on the top floor, in the corner. Your grandfather’s apartment. He waited ten years for the government to give it to him. He was rationed out this meagre square home and a small garden plot by the dumpster, concealed by a corrugated iron sheet.

Off the Rail Brewing is also offering a 10% off discount on same-day beer delivery for the duration of the festival – just use code QAF2020 at checkout! Free Delivery

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