“Why is the killing of animals a sport and a hobby and that of humans a murder?” That’s the thought-provoking question Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead poses. Part of the new Onassis Stegi programme, this innovative play is based on a novel by Olga Tokarczuk, (a Nobel Prize for Literature laureate), is staged by the Complicité theatre group and directed by Simon McBurney. Athenian audiences are probably familiar with the latter, ever since he staged his masterwork The Encounter at Onassis Stegi in 2016.
Set in an isolated village in Poland, the story follows an old pensioner who believes that the killings of her hunter neighbours are actually orchestrated by animals. Interestingly, the performance follows the principles of the “Theatre Green Book” initiative, which aims for sustainability with the use of second-hand objects in the production and planning so that the majority of materials involved are either reused or recycled.
This commitment to sustainability aligns with the themes of the story and the political and social values of the author, who is also an outspoken critic of the Polish government. Part eco-thriller and part black comedy, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead has received high praise by international media such as The Guardian which called it “an almighty and toweringly innovative adaptation”.