The visible and the invisible

Our current issue sheds light on some of the theater renewal trends in Hungary.

Our first column focuses on the past and present of the Örkény Theatre. Director and actor Pál Mácsai started managing his art ensemble in 2001. The company works under its own name since 2004, and this year it became independent in terms of organisation. (Earlier they operated under the administration of the Madách Theater, which is known for its popular programmes.) The season's character is largely defined by the search for an up to date stage language.

Their first performance was Casimir and Caroline. Director László Bagossy took an unusual approach to the Ödön von Horváth piece; he staged a live movie. The stage is seen through a window the size of a movie screen, so that the bodies of the actors are not fully visible. The fragmented scenes are edited into singular images, relying heavily on the imagination of the audience. The quick shots and angles are complemented by a movie pianist's narrative. Besides making us see the play from a new point of view, director Bagossy goes beyond a l'art pour l'art experiment; the performance is aimed at a wide range of audiences. The review of the piece is completed by an interview with the director.

The other two new pieces of the Örkény Theater are characterised by Ildikó Gáspár; our second interview was made with her. The text versions of Gáspár show characteristics of both drama and epic traditions. Catsplay, the classic piece of István Örkény (the playwright after whom the theater was named) was staged by director Pál Mácsai in the style of a Greek tragedy; the comic love affair of an elderly everyday woman appears as a link of fateful events. Director Tamás Ascher staged La bohème based on the script by Aki Kaurismäki; dialogues are complemented by narratives, so that even objects have their own life and character in this playful performance.

Our next column focuses on choreographer Pál Frenák. His international dance company celebrates its tenth anniversary of operating in Hungary; Frenák has an important role in restructuring the dance stage language in Hungary. Besides reviewing his latest work, Seven and analysing the critical appraisal of the restaged Les Hommes Cachés, we offer a review on Márta Péter's bilingual book, Frenak.

Iván Markó's company, the Győr Ballett had an important role in forming the stage language of the 70's and 80's; we offer the first part of the article summarizing the company's 30 years.

In our critic column we review the new pieces directed by András Jeles, Zoltán Balázs, István Tansádi and Viktor Bodó.


10. 03. 10. | Nyomtatás |