photo: Basia Sinica



‘Thank you for this lightning storm of hope in dark times.
I am an old-fashioned theatre man.
On evenings like this I gain my confidence
in the magic of theatre as a dignified phenomenon.
Only the fragile form of life, tense between power and powerlessness, possesses dignity.’

Christoff Bleidt – Theaterhaus Berlin

‘Heartburn moves from laughter to tears.
It bursts with pain, anger and love.
It is a story about women and it is my story’.

Ewa Kaczmarek,  Tlusta Langusta, Poland

Audience Reactions:

‘The truth is that it was so strong, that I was speechless’
‘A beautiful and powerful performance, where the truth was sometimes unbearable’
‘Heartburn swings through the emotions, like riding a roller coaster’
‘This performance set off what felt like fireworks in my heart with so many different thoughts, feelings and experiences exploding all at once.’
‘Intimate and public all at once because it concerns everyone’
‘I hope that this show will be played often,
It is important, uncompromising and necessary.’


Rachel and Kuba of Cosmino Productions join forces with Spanish performer, Eva Rufo and British, Berlin based visual artist, Jo Johnston to bring you Heartburn.

Heartburn was dreamed into life during the early days of the pandemic over Zoom. We dreamed of a creating an artistic space to vent our frustrations about being women, we dreamed of facilitating a safe space to help other women to do the same.

This performance, workshop and website are the result of these dreams.

One of the many catalysts for the Heartburn project was Rachel’s experience of losing a baby at 24 weeks in the UK thirteen years ago and her reflections on how this would be experienced today by a woman in Poland where abortion is effectively illegal. Among the other issues we explore in the performance are women’s bodies and the church; violence against women; women’s rage and menopause. The performance uses puppetry, comedy, song, text and movement to create a hybrid, humorous and powerful perspective on being a woman in Europe today.


More dates for HEARTBURN coming soon…



January 2023: English Theatre Berlin, Germany

November 2022: Festiwal Sytuacje/Relacje, Bydgoszcz, Poland

October 2022: Bucharest Fringe Festival, Romania

July 2022: Tlusta Langusta, Poznań, Poland as part of Malta Festiwal, Poznań, Poland

June 2022: London Bubble, UK: Heartburn women workshop

June 2022: 19:15 Calm Down, Dear Festival Camden People’s Theatre, London, UK

May 2022: Guest Performance at Odin Teatret, Holstebro, Denmark

March 2022: International Women’s Day @ Theater Haus Schoneweide, Berlin, Germany

February 2022: Teatr Osmego Dnia, Poznan, Poland

January 2022: Premiere: Tlusta Langusta, Poznań, Poland


Two women face the truth of the dissolution of the European egalitarian dream.
Everywhere they look things are not equal; in the taxi at the end of the night, on the bench in the middle of a village, in the congregation, in the boardroom, in the home. They tell stories of abortion, sing about violence and dance about menopause.
They remember the lies they were told as children and question the hope that things might be different for future generations. The performance uses puppetry, comedy, song, text and movement to create a hybrid, humorous and powerful perspective on being a woman in Europe today.
‘For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve’ Timothy 2:1



available in English, French, German, Spanish & Polish
Your Story : A workshop for everyone who has ever identified as a woman
Women who attend the performance will be invited to a free follow up creative workshop (online or in person) where they will work with members of the artistic team to create ‘story collages’ of their experiences sparked by the themes raised in the performance. These new works of art can then be uploaded here to the Heartburnwomen website.

Heartburnwomen is a digital, creative hub for women of all ages, faiths, nationalities, and cultures to share without judgement or comment, their experiences and thoughts through art and words.

We hope that this sharing will open a dynamic exchange of the way that politics, culture and tradition impact the lives of women from all corners of the world on a daily basis.

A collage can be: “A piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric on to a backing.” “A collection or combination of various things.” So, basically cutting out and sticking on!

In this workshop, we invite you to create a collage with the guidance of artist, Jo Johnston and then (if you feel comfortable) share the story behind the image in a safe space. Easily accessible, no drawing skills required. You have the freedom to choose and reframe images in order to tell your story. There is no right or wrong way to do it. 

 Simply find images/words that tell your stories as a woman/girl, that you connect with, express feelings and invoke memories. Proportion is not important.

Think in the context of society, family, friends, religion, politics, work, community. Colours, shapes, patterns and textures can all evoke feeling, memories and experiences in us. It can be exciting to cut images or parts of images out of their original context and ”reframe“ them to connect them to our own personal situation. Examples will be given alongside guidance and vocal and physical impulses / exercises from the Heartburn team will help to get you started and create conversations about the themes explored in the performance.
Images, thoughts, feelings and secrets can even be hidden and folded away in your collage.

Feel free to bring magazines, newspapers, photos or copies of photos, fabric, thread, letters, anything you don’t mind cutting up. We will also have a variety of resources available.

Created and directed by the company
Performers: Eva Rufo and Rachel Karafistan
Renata Kałek
Project Artwork:
Jo Johnston
Production assistant & translation:
Kaja Banaszak
Kuba Pierzchalski


Heartburn is gratefully supported by: