Serenade by Slawomir Mrozek

  • Director: Shannon Holmes
  • Troupe: SoMo Theatre
  • Location: Arbutus Studio, Capilano University, Vancouver BC
  • Date: May 17, 2012


A one act absurdist play, Serenade is written by the Polish playwright Sławomir Mrożek. The action takes place in a chicken coop and focuses on a rooster, his three hens, and a fox who appears and tries to lure the chickens out of their coop.

The distrust of language as a reliable means of communication was one of the elements that I focused on in this production. As well, I was looking for a way to create a new form of music theatre where the sung and spoken text could weave together in a less obvious way than in traditional musicals.

I chose to incorporate the music of Tom Waits (I did the arrangements of the music) into the text as his songs create the ultimate juxtaposition of beautiful and ugly, good and evil. In his own words “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” The beautiful melodies tell us one thing, the lyrics another, it is as if the text cannot trust the melody, and the listener is allowed to choose to be affected by either, with each one in opposition to the other. Like the Absurdists, Waits creates a sense of uncertainty with his music.