The producers of a controversial play in Poland are being investigated by state prosecutors over allegations they are inciting the audience to murder.
The Curse (Klątwa) is being staged at Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw and is directed by Oliver Frljić, a Croatian director. It examines the relationship between the Polish Catholic church and the state, and condemns the authorities for failing to respond to allegations of child abuse by members of the clergy.
In the play’s most notorious scene, an actor simulates oral sex on a plastic statue of the late Polish pope John Paul II, as a sign reads: “Defender of paedophiles”.
In another scene, an actor considers the legality of a fictional speech in which she would – hypothetically – raise money to pay for the assassination of Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS).
The production has been sold out since it opened in February, but soon after its premiere, prosecutors – who have been overseen by the government since PiS won elections in 2015 – announced the production was under investigation.
My report for the Guardian can be found here.