Bloc busters

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Poland was once a hotspot for experimental drama. Has the daring died? John O'Mahony continues our series on European theatre.
 
The attic apartment of Polish theatre master Tadeusz Kantor, located just off the main cathedral square in Krakow, remains trapped in an unsettling time-warp, preserved exactly as it was the day he died: December 8 1990. On the table, an old manual typewriter sits in its case, alongside a promiscuous smattering of junk: scissors, magnifying glass, prism and a crude old eastern-bloc tape recorder, all maintained in their original lack of order. In the wardrobe, shabby plaid jackets line up with his trademark black raincoats; a battered assortment of cheap Soviet-era shoes gathers dust in the darkness below. Various books are still scattered around - Milan Kundera's Life is Elsewhere in French, as well as others by Genet - all thumbed down to different depths.
 
However, the most chilling item in the apartment, now maintained for thesis-writing posterity by the Kantor Cricoteka archive, is the director's diary, which charts the rehearsals for his last work, Today Is My Birthday . Visitors are free to flick through the meticulously penned entries, running right up to the day after the dress rehearsal for the production, when the director suddenly succumbed to a heart attack. After that, the pages, running into the next year and beyond, are blank.
 
 
 
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Source: Guardian