Divine Comedy is a theatre holiday where the best Polish shows are presented in the true Polish showcase. Apart from Polish shows, competing for the best show of the year title and the Divine Comedian prize, there are also foreign theatre groups, and meetings with philosophers, theatre theoreticians, and critics that accompany the festival.
Most prominent theatre critics, journalists, and reviewers are invited to select the shows, which are included in the contemporary Polish theatre showcase. Thanks to their choices, the largest stages in Kraków host the best spectacles of the season.
The most dramatic part of the Festival is the Polish Contest INFERNO within which the most provocative and exciting productions of the past season compete for the grand prize. “Inferno, comprises the most distinguished and widely discussed performances, that showcase the wide range of talents and artistic aspirations of Polish directors. Its main purpose is to present the diverse landscape of Polish theatre life as well as to expose audiences to the latest trends and areas of artistic exploration and experimentation that our directors have to offer,” enthuses Bartosz Szydłowski, Divine Comedy's Artistic Director.
Winners are selected by an international jury, and the main prize of 50,000 zlotys, funded by the Mayor of the City of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski, fuels the budget of the theatre which most impresses the jury. Individual prizes for artists and creators are funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
The first edition of the Divine Comedy Festival was organised in December 2008. Since then the festival gathers wide audience from all over the world. The festival gives a chance to see, in a matter of just one week, some of the most intriguing plays of the season from theatres throughout the country. For theatre makers it is an opportunity to discuss and promote their artistic output with the attending critics and producers from abroad. The festival is organised by the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre.