JoLIE 9:2/2016


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Abstract in English:






Małgorzata Rydelek

University of Szczecin, Poland






Theatre is one of the most important forms of the world’s culture. From its antic origins to the present times there have been recognized many functions of this institution, e.g. religious, entertaining, educational and political ones (including many kinds of an ‘involving’ theatre represented by Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory). What is most important, they served integrating, culture-forming and communicational purposes as well. The last three of those functions make theatre a space of intercultural communication, which results from the fact that the theatre uses a very unique and specific language which can be described as an unusual system of signs. The main sign in this code is the actor himself because he functions as the symbol, its creator and a translator simultaneously. Furthermore, the theatre also uses body language and music to communicate with the public, despite its ethnical differences. The best example of an institution which integrates people from different countries and cultural spheres is The Golden Horseman Theatre from London established by Magdalena Rutkowska-Hunt (the founder, director and co-screenwriter of most of its plays). Referring to her own words, this article describes the advantages and disadvantages of this very specific kind of theatre, which connects actors from every corner of England, Poland and other countries, including both amateurs and professionals. The main target of Rutkowska-Hunt’s work is to integrate them with each other, as well as with their multicultural audience. The whole process assists non-English actors and auditors in breaking linguistic barriers, which results in overcoming adversities that appear in everyday communication with English native speakers. Frequent contacts between Polish and British actors enable both groups to learn about many elements of their cultures, such as tradition, history, habits or literary and artistic masterpieces. The article also relates to one of The Golden Horseman’s plays – Kobieta pracująca (‘The working woman’), based on the biography and artistic heritage of Irena Kwiatkowska – one of the best Polish actresses of the 20th century. The play, written in Polish, was staged in England (mainly in London, but not only) and in Poland (the premiere in Warsaw took place in November 2015). Magdalena Rutkowska-Hunt engaged not only Polish but also British actors, which created an opportunity to familiarize them with a piece of Polish history, culture and even a sense of humour (as Kwiatkowska starred mainly in comedies). The article ends with a conclusion that the theatre is definitely a place of intercultural communication because it integrates actors and audience from different cultures and helps them to break linguistic barriers, which leads to more effective communication in typical, casual situations outside the theatre.


Key words: Theatre; Intercultural communication; The Golden Horseman Theatre; Linguistic barriers.



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How to cite this article: Rydelek, M. (2016). Teatr jako przestrzeń komunikacji międzykulturowej. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 9(2), 177-188. DOI:



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