Stefan Golaszewski is a young man with too many words to fit on his tongue and today he is here to talk about love. In fact as he pours out sentence after sentence, each one full of microscopic visceral detail, it seems he is rather obsessed with it.
Stefan Golaszewski Talks About A Girl He Once Loved and Stefan Golaszewski Is A Widower form the basis of this testimony to love. When the first of these shows appeared in Edinburgh 2008, as I saw it cramped in The Pleasance I fell down my own crazy emotional rabbit hole a little bit with this sweet tale of lost love. Golaszewski gets into the head of every gawky adolescent (and evidently some uber cool 20 something’s who were giggling in recognition like no man’s business in this packed press night crowd) and marries his spot on observations with moments of theatrical magic.
It is a piece which one watches with a permanent smile on one’s face. No one could fail to be charmed when in response to the longed for question ‘Can I kiss you?’ from the girl of his dreams, an incredulous Golaszewski empties a suitcase full of yes’s onto the stage. Or the delight when he sprays her perfume into the audience so we can all get a whiff of how tantalizing she was. It is a full on romantic bombardment on the senses; an assault which delights in this first piece, as his intense and torrential style of delivery perfectly picks out what it is to love for the first time, with all it’s agonies and ecstasies.
But this bombardment becomes slightly harder to bear in the second of this double bill, Stefan Golaszewski Is A Widower. Speaking as an old man looking back on his life Golaszewski tells us of his wife Pudding and their helter skelter love affair that has spanned a lifetime. All Golaszewski’s tricks are still present, the seemingly superfluous comedic asides that colour each memory with believable details, the elegant analogies, the tangible obsession with sex, but now it all seems too much and the joy has been lost.
Too many years are dealt with over this hour of memories and too many incidences are poured over for any to feel authentic. The keenness which is endearing in the gushing naive teenager, seems like pushed desperation in the older man and one begins to feel tired for him.
But it is still an elegant piece and Golaszewski undoubtedly has a talent with a perceptive turn of phrase. A power house on stage he carries his wordy texts on strong shoulders and seeing the sweat dripping from his brow one can’t help but recognise his commitment to these stories and experiences. Just occasionally though you wish he would trust them to carry him through and bring some calm into these epic essays in love.
Runs until 9th January 2010 at The Bush Theatre
Originally written for The Public Reviews.