Appropriately, this feature on the Polish theatre group Gardzienice is something of a cultural mix, in which the impressions of an English visitor may be contrasted with the voice of a Polish admirer – and the beliefs of the group itself, expressed in the words of its director, Wlodzimierz Staniewski. In the winter of 1989–90, Paul Allain, a graduate student at Goldsmiths' College, University of London, visited the company at its ‘headquarters’ – which is also, in effect, the small and remote Polish village from which Gardzienice takes its name. This was at a time when the new. Solidarity-led government had yet to be fully felt. Here, Allain describes the training methods and disciplines of the company which, within the context of its physical environment, have come to constitute a lifestyle as much as an approach to theatre. Janusz Majcherek writes rather of the significance of Gardzienice in relation to the ancient and fundamental need for a homeland – a need which, in Staniewski's writings, is related to the company's own hopes and plans. All this material was in our hands well before the upsurge in nationalist feeling which has succeeded the political changes in eastern Europe: and it may be felt to reflect ironically upon alternative ways of ‘returning home’ – on the one hand through the actuality or threat of civil war and the struggle for an elusive slice of the ‘free market’, on the other in that quest for a lost history and inheritance, for healing connections with one's environment, which is reflected theatrically in the work of Gardzienice.