Very funny


Fat and Dumb, i.e. Patrycja Kowańska and Dominika Knapik, creative artists working in theatres as directors, choreographers and dramaturges, place themselves on the stage. They explore the dynamic of the duo through the prism of their own bodies while to the emplois of contemporary freelance artists they try on the condition of a clown. Drawing on Shakespeare’s imaginarium, they juxtapose their own clearly different silhouettes with the protagonists of the plays. Fatty-Kowańska has the conditions to portray the ribald Falstaff. Nitwit-Knapik recalls agile clowns, well-exercised in movements and words. The authors look suspiciously at Shakespeare and “the tradition of the artist-genius”. They base both on his brilliant texts and on their own jokes or perverse choreography. Drifting on Bosch’s “Ship of fools”, they play with theatrical conventions by deconstructing stereotypes concerning the political potential of sex, the body and the miserable fate of freelancers. They pose a whole series of uncomfortable questions concerning (artistic) work, and pull smelly things out from under the carpet. They do what they should not do. They say what they should not say. They use clownery “as a Trojan horse in which there is hidden a whole army of inventive concepts…” To this end, they use the archives of past and future creative processes, while measuring up to their own complexes and ambitions. This will be tragic(-comic) in its consequences. Maybe they will even have to bury their own talent and dreams? VERY FUNNY.

Directing, choreography, dramaturgy , performance– Fat and Dumb (Patrycja Kowańska and Dominika Knapik)
Musical arrangements – Fat and Dumb
Video – Fat and Dumb
Costumes – Fat and Dumb
Lighting, technical direction – Wolfgang Macher
Musical consultation – Dawid Sulej Rudnicki
Photography, make-up – Magdalena Kasjaniuk

Production: Shakespeare Festival 

With kind support by  Schauspielhaus Bochum

Gallery photos: Klaudyna Schubert, Magdalena Kasjaniuk, Dawid Linkowski


Shakespeare Off Award, Journalists Award of the 27.International Shakespeare Festival, Gdańsk 2023


The jury – consisting of Eleanor Skimin, Jacek Kopcinski, Aneta Mancewicz – decided to award the ShakespeareOFF prize for the performance Very Funny by Dominika Knapik and Patrycja Kowanieska (the duet Fat and Dumb).The award for the brilliant portrayal of the character of Falstaff and the figure of the jester in a lively and spontaneous performance.
For successfully inscribing the form of dialogue between two characters in a complex intermedia drama of many genres, conventions and theatrical styles. For frankly, comically and ironically exposing the working conditions of contemporary artists.

Journalists Award:

For sincerity, courage, coarse jokes, a refreshing look at the figure of the jester, for honesty that forces self-compromise, for the tender tale of sisterhood and friendship hidden in this thickly drawn caricature, which, in addition to mutual support, gives the right to smack uncomfortable truths between the eyes, for the opportunity to peep into the creative process, as well as the chaos that is its beginning The Journalists’ Jury awards its prize to the duo Fat and Dumb by Patrycja Kowanska and Dominika Knapik for the performance “VERY FUNNY”.


This season I would like to highlight the Very Funny performance of the tandem Gruba and Dumb, which is co-created by Patrycja Kowańska and Dominika Knapik. In it, the artists ride the bandwagon of choreographic-dramatic embarrassment. It is both coarse and silly, and at times it is impossible to watch or listen to it. It's a seemingly outrageously botched performance, but there is method in its failure. The creators parasitize Shakespeare, inviting themselves into the world of the masters, sticking their backsides out in the direction of directors who are awaited like godots, and capturing grand narratives of transgression in a burping rhythm. Very Funny is not only a defiant satire on the theatrical microcosm of the inequalities still being reproduced, but also a manifesto of two allied, precarious bodies that are as much warring as they are fragile, and on the one hand have had enough and on the other, want. The artists move on the verge of dramatic derailment, dancing over the bubbling volcano of imminent disaster. Ultimately, however, they create a subversively effusive performance, whose redundancy acts like the thick flesh of Kowanskaya: it unseals the normocentric system and makes no apologies for anything. Very Funny is a performance that is at once cruel and touching, terrible and wise, beautiful in its tenderness."

Very Funny is first and foremost a performance about the formation of artistic identity, about disagreement with functioning in a system of dependence and hierarchy, about choosing one's own path."