Event: Tadeusz Różewicz’s Gala: Mum, Dad, I’m a Poet, 25 May, London

Saturday, 25 May

Southbank Centre, Purcell Room, 7.45pm

Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

Tickets: £10 / £5 concessions
Book online (booking fee £1.75)
Ticket Office: 0844 875 0073 (booking fee £2.75)
Booking in person (no booking fee)


Tadeusz Różewicz is the most celebrated living Polish author, the great ‘anti-poet’ who has succeeded in writing poetry after Auschwitz. We celebrate the British publication of his masterpiece Mother Departs, translated by Barbara Bogoczek, with readings, music and film by actors, poets, critics and friends. Featuring the acclaimed poets George Szirtes and Tom Paulin, singer Katy Carr, legendary actor Jan Peszek and his daughter, the notorious actress/singer Maria Peszek. The evening is chaired by writer, editor and educator Sophie Mayer.




Katy Carr is a singer, musician, songwriter and aviator. She has released four albums: Screwing Lies (2001), Passion Play (2003), Coquette (2009) and Paszport (2012). Katy Carr is nominated for Best Artist for the Songlines Music Awards 2013 and added on the line up for WOMAD 2013. (Photo by Krystian Data)


Sophie Mayer is a writer, editor and educator. Recent projects include the anthology Binders Full of Women; and Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, with English PEN, for whom she teaches classes on free speech and literature. She is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and The F-Word, and the author of The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love, as well as three poetry collections: Her Various ScalpelsThe Private Parts of Girls, and Kiss Off. (Photo: author’s collection)


Tom Paulin is a Northern Irish poet and critic of film, music and literature. His collections include A State of Justice (1977), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Strange Museum (1980), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; Liberty Tree (1983) and Fivemiletown (1987). His later collections include Walking a Line (1994) and The Wind Dog (1999), shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Paulin is widely known for his appearances on the BBC arts programmes The Late ShowLate Review and Newsnight Review. He lives in Oxford. (Photo by Barney Cokeliss)


Maria Peszek is a Polish actress, singer, songwriter and performer. During her acting career she cooperated with acclaimed Polish directors and actors Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Piotr Łazarkiewicz, Agnieszka Holland, Jerzy Stuhr, Kazimierz Kutz and Krystian Lupa. Since 2005 she concentrated on her greatest passion – music. Her debut solo album Miastomania earned her the Fryderyk Award for the Best Debut in 2006. In 2008 she released her second album Maria Awaria which despite controversies gathered glowing reviews and was considered one of the most important music events of the recent years. Her third album, Jezus Maria Peszek, released in 2012, which deals with religiousness, Polish identity and traditional social roles shocked the public and Maria Peszek was hailed as the voice of her generation. Her albums were certified platinum owing to high sales. Maria Peszek is currently performing around the world with her third album. (Photo: artist’s collection)


Jan Peszek is a highly acclaimed Polish theatre and film actor, recipient of many awards at the most prestigious theatre festivals. During his over 40-year-long, intense work he played in many theatres in Poland. He starred in the plays of Ibsen, Strinberg, O’Casey, Beckett, Ionesco, Czekhov, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Wyspiański, Schulz, Gombrowicz and Różewicz. Since 1964 he has been closely cooperating with Bogusław Schaeffer – an outstanding composer and playwright. Written by Schaeffer especially for Peszek The screenplay for not existing but possible instrumental actor, on stage since 1976, has passed the number of 1,500 performances. The screenplay is highly valued by both critics and the public, it received many awards including the Grand Prix of the Festival of Polish Contemporary Arts, 1993 (Festiwal Polskich Sztuk Współczesnych) and the Grand Prix of the Festival of Theatres of Middle and East Europe in New York, 1995 (Festiwal Teatrów Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej). The play was performed in most European countries – among others in France, Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria as well as in Japan, the United States of America and Mexico. In the years 1992 – 2000 Peszek cooperated with Theatre Cai in Tokio – acting, directing and leading acting workshops. In 1997 he received a prestigious critics’ award for directing Iwona Księżniczka Burgunda by Gombrowicz played by Japanese actors. Jan Peszek holds the title of Professor of Theatre Arts. He works at the State Theatre Academy in Kraków. (Photo: artist’s collection)


George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He has published several books and won various prizes including the1980 Faber Memorial prize for The Slant Door and the T S Eliot Prize for Reel in 2005. Beside his work in poetry and translation he has written Exercise of Power, a study of the artist Ana Maria Pacheco, and, together with Penelope Lively, edited New Writing 10 published in 2001. George Szirtes lives near Norwich with his wife, the painter Clarissa Upchurch. (Photo by Caroline Forbes)



Organised in association with Southbank Centre and the Polish Cultural Institute in London.