Edith Alibec’s Highly Imaginative ‘Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta’, at Gate Theatre

01 - 04/05/2019 @ Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3HQ

Following a sold-out performance in Belgravia in 2017, accomplished Romanian actress Edith Alibec brings her award-winning one-woman show, ‘Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta’, to London’s Gate Theatre in Notting Hill.

Directed by Dana Paraschiv and inspired by the autobiographical novel of Swiss-Romanian Aglaja Veteranyi, the brilliant and tragic figure who committed suicide at 39 after a most spectacular life, the show allows for a memorable voice that is at once lyrical and jaded, mundane and spiritual, comical and ghastly.

A nomadic family of circus performers, refugees from communist Romania, travels through Europe and Africa by caravan. The mother’s death-defying act causes constant anxiety for her two daughters, who voice their fears through a grisly communal fairy tale about a child being cooked alive in polenta—but their real life is no less of a dark fable, and one that seems just as unlikely to have a happy ending.

Edith Alibec witnessed the refugee crisis in Germany first-hand, as she met with refugees and visited their social camps. Her adaptation seeks to highlight the vulnerability in being forced to leave home and trying to find a new place in the world. It explores what it is to feel foreign and isolated and how it feels when the place you live in does not let you feel like you belong: “I lived in Germany for three years, and in the first few months I did not find my place and I started to idealize a "home". Romania, my home country, became more like a utopia. At the same time, the refugee crisis in Germany grew and I wondered how it must feel for them. I mean, it's a choice for me to live in a foreign country, I chose to do that, but they're being forced to flee their home and live in a foreign country, exactly like the play’s heroine. This show was born out of my need to talk about what does it feel like to not have a home. Far from being an ideological statement, this show is about being human and explores the hidden corners of the soul.”

The project is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute and Arts Council England. 

Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta

By Aglaja Veteranyi
Adapted for the stage by: Dana Paraschiv and Edith Alibec
Directed by: Dana Paraschiv
With: Edith Alibec
The show is performed in English and runs for 1 hour.

TRAILER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPF8agWaYS4

When: Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3HQ

Dates and times:

Wednesday 1 May - 19:30
Thursday 2 May - 19:30
Friday 3 May - 15:00 & 19:30
Saturday 4 May - 19:30

Please book your tickets HERE. RCI London friends can use code POLENTA15 for £15 tickets.