Teatro Ósmego Dnia, the Theatre of the Eighth Day, has for forty years flourished in Poland, never as part of the established theatre, but as one of what Eugenio Barba calls the ‘floating islands’ – those companies which live as much as make theatre, and form part of an informal international circuit of like-minded though distinct and individual groups. Ian Watson here shapes his own memories of the group in the form of a letter to one of NTQ's co-editors, with whom he has shared experiences of Polish theatre, and in particular the work of Eighth Day, relating their history to the changing political and economic environment in Poland, and the company's relationship with the outside world. Ian Watson, who is a Contributing Editor of New Theatre Quarterly, teaches at Rutgers University, Newark, where he is the Acting Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. He is author of Towards a Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret (Routledge, 1993) and of Negotiating Cultures: Eugenio Barba and the Intercultural Debate (Manchester University Press, 2002). He edited Performer Training across Cultures (Routledge, 2001), and has published numerous articles on theatre in scholarly journals.