‘I Shall Never Return’ was the last play which Kantor finished, and the last of his works presented with his participation.
‘I Shall Never Return’ / ‘Nigdy tu już nie powrócę’ is a collage made from memories – scenes, characters and props once used in Kantor’s theatre. The actors set up desks that don’t have anything to do with The Dead Class and create a kind of waiting room. During the performance, the actors change roles so that the artists can invoke Kantor’s wartime realization of Wyspiański’s play The Return of Odysseus / Powrót Odysa.
The international co-production ‘I Shall Never Return’ premiered in Milan on 23rd April, 1988. For the first time, Kantor decided not only to be on stage (which he had done before) but to be a fully-fledged actor. He played the part of ‘I – in person’. His recorded voice sounded from a speaker resembling a street loudspeaker, and the play opened with the words:
In a moment I will enter
a shabby and disreputable
I’ve been walking to it for a long time.
I’ve been going to a meeting,
I don’t know with whom, either with phantoms or with people.
In the beginning Kantor shares the stage only with the Pub Owner, who is cleaning the tables, the Barefooted Harlot, who is cleaning the floor, and the dozing Priest from Wielopole.