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Arts of the UK 2020: Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta streaming for free this November

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LONDON – A bridge between reality and fiction, Edith Alibec’s award-winning adaptation of Aglaja Veteranyi’s autobiographical book, Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta, will be made available digitally this November through the Romanian Cultural Institute. A fascinating and endlessly imaginative show, it follows a family of circus artists who flee the Communist regime in Romania during the 1960s in search of fame, glory and a better life in the West.

Among the circus caravans, a family are caught between two worlds: the colourful high-top where the mother performs her death-defying stunts and the harsher reality of a nomadic life where home is only to be found in your mother’s cooking. This is a lyrical darkly comic tale of a family always on the road, who are always the foreigners.

Performed and adapted by Edith Alibec, it is inspired by the refugee crisis in Germany where Alibec met with refugees and visited their social camps. Her adaptation seeks to highlight the vulnerability in being forced to leave home and trying to find a new place in the world. It explores what it is to feel like the place you live does not allow you to feel like you belong.

Edith Alibec comments: “I lived in Germany for three years, and when in the first few months I did not find my place, I started to idealize a “home”. Romania, my home country, became more like a utopia. At the same time, the refugee crisis in Germany grew and I wondered how it must feel for them: it’s a choice for me to live in a foreign country, but they’re forced to flee their home and live in a foreign country. This show was born out of my need to talk about what it feels like to not have a home. Far from being an ideological statement, this show is about being human and explores the hidden corners of the soul.”

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta is available for free as an online recording through the Romanian Cultural Institute 14th to 15th November 2020 on Facebook

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