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The Danton Affair

photo: Renata Pajchel

It is clear that in Sprawa Dantona the director did not rely on "tricks" or on technical stage effects, neither did he depend on any "external" support (in the whole performance there wasn't a single note of music, not a single mechanically amplified sound, not a single microphone); he completely gave up all the things which some critics - often holding it against him - were disposed to consider his specialty. What then did Wajda rely on?

First and foremost - on the actors. Letting them loose into the sombre acting space (one could hardly call it "the stage"), attired in austere, very sober costumes, designed by Krystyna Zachwatowicz according to historical iconographic sources, he let them carry the burden of the performance, trusting them to play out the drama of thought and conscience, the conflict of idea and morality.

Maciej Karpinski,
"The Theatre of Andrzej Wajda, Warszawa 1980, p.64-65.

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