In the summer of 1988 two events focused British attention on the great Polish scenographer Józef Szajna: he participated in an ambitious seminar at the Young Vic on the legacy of the absurd, and in a BBC documentary on the art produced by holocaust victims and survivors. After the war, Szajna emerged as a central figure for Polish theatre and then for the international avant-garde. He became a stage designer, sculptor, director, environmental artist, manager, scenarist and teacher. In the 1970s, Szajna created his famous series of dramatic ‘open theatre’ spectacles inspired by the lives and art of Witkiewicz, Dante, Cervantes, Mayakovsky - and Szajna. For Józef Szajna's biography has been extraordinary, harrowing, and iconic. His work has questioned the functions of theatre after Auschwitz and Hiroshima. In his Warsaw flat-cum-studio and at the Studio Theatre, he surveyed forty years of work for New Theatre Quarterly, in conversation with the playwright Tomasz Lubienski - from a more literary theatrical tradition - and with Tony Howard, who here compiles a collage portrait of his career. The translations are by Barbara Plebanek.