Love, erotic desires, deceit and persistent loyalty are eternal issues of both life and theatre. Midsummer Night is the shortest night of the year, when, according to old beliefs, anything can happen, wishes come true and lovers are united. The setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a mysterious forest, where young lovers chase each other – and become totally entangled on the way - until, with the help of a little magic, everyone ends up by the side of their chosen partner.
New York. A winter’s day. Willem’s phone rings. His mother is calling to tell him that his brother died and he has to go home. A journey back to the old home. Arriving in Amsterdam. As Willem decides to write a letter to his deceased brother his memories storm him. The abandoned love left behind. His otherness and the life it created. As he is composing his letter he has to reconsider his life and his relationship with his cold and dismissive family. It dawns on him that his emotions and affections lead him somewhere totally different. With the brilliant young actor, László Józan in the leading role.
It is our great pleasure that we succeded in inviting Oscar winning film director, István Szabó, who has not worked in theatre for a long time, to direct this very personal and peculiar performance.
When southern belle Blanche Dubois arrives to stay with her sister Stella in New Orleans she is confronted by a shockingly different culture and heated surroundings, embodied by Stella's brutish, sensual husband Stanley.
Blanche's past soon catches up with her and her fragile mind begins to weaken. In a searing allegory of changing times the simmering confrontation between Blanche, with all her pretensions and delusions, and the primal, working-class force of nature that is Stanley is played out on a knife edge, with devastating consequences.
Bertolt Brecht is an emblematic theatremaker and drama theoretician of the 20th Century. In his poetic piece, Baal, he discusses art and the destructive power of love.
According to the mythology, Baal is a god symbolizing complete life. In Brecht’s work he is a lonely and rebellious artist, who breaks moral norms and thus becomes an enemy of society.
Bonfire is about the anomalies of life in Romania following the fall of dictator, Nikolai Ceaușescu, as seen through the eyes of a young teen, Emma. The girl lost both her parents and her home and is taken into the care of her magical grandmother. Emma is struggling to liberate her soul from her parents’ and grandparents’ psychological burdens, but in order to succeed first she needs to see her family’s past clearly. How does one deal with one’s past when their country has just been liberated?
Cosmic Solitude is a new play written especially for the Vígszínház by the young creative team of K2 Theatre Company.
What could make an inhabitable planet habitable for a community? The exciting, musical sci-fi is Dániel Király’s debut as director. The Vígszínház’s young actor is joined in this project by the independent theatre company K2.
Dostoyevsky is the greatest depictor of the human soul. His famous crime novel tells the story of a brutal murder and the investigation that follows. Is there a situation that allows, what is more, demands the killing of a human? The question not only fascinates Raskolnikov, but it is equally important for us in a world wounded by raging wars and terrorism.
Earthquakes in London is a play by Mike Bartlett. It received its world premiere at the Royal National\\\'s Cottesloe Theatre on 4 August 2010, following previews from 29 July 2010. The production was directed by Rupert Goold in a co-production with Headlong.
The play centres on the lives and loves of three sisters, abandoned long ago by their doom-mongering father. The father is a prominent climate scientist played by Bill Paterson, who predicts environmental apocalypse. The eldest sister is a cabinet minister who plans to halt all airport expansion, choosing environment over economy. The middle sister is heavily pregnant and growing increasingly depressed about the uncertain future her child is being born into. The youngest sister is a rebellious teenager and frequent nuisance to her career-minded eldest sister. As the three women attempt in their own different ways, to come to terms with the fact their father\\\'s pessimistic forecasts may be right, Freya, the middle sister contemplates suicide to avoid bringing her child into an apocalypic future and an opportunity presents itself for reconciliation with their estranged misanthropic father.
"It is not the story that I am interested in in the theater. Nor am I interested in so-called ideas. That is a matter for literature and philosophy. In theater it is the system of relations emerging between live bodies that I am interested in. The image, although not in the sense of the word in which it is used in the fine arts. I am interested in the motion picture of live bodies... I tried to rely on the musical qualities of language. I wanted to create a subtle linguistic medium, in which actors are required to speak with the inner connections of their entire bodies." (Péter Nádas)
Peter Nadas’s drama trilogy, entitled Cleaning, Meeting, and Funeral, is not among the most popular works of Hungarian literature. Although in the last three decades it has received a few stagings, none of them achieved relevance. Could this be because – and this was recently claimed by the author, Peter Nadas, in an interview – they are not good enough? One thing is certain: all three dramas are rooted in the Eastern Europe of the 70s and 80s. Nevertheless, the issues raised in the texts – power, affection, love, and human relations – are definitely timeless. So why do the theatres not keep them in repertory? Probably because of the sharp, model-like situations and the reduced, though powerfully lyrical language. The dramatic texts are evidently organized like musical compositions. That is why psychological-realistic interpretations of them tend to end in failure.
Georges Feydeau is the creator of an insanely happy universe. He is capable of tormenting his audience with three hours of nonstop laughter. A grand engineer of theatrical effects, he accurately observes human games and presents them with gleeful irony. In Free Exchange Hotel men and women frantically chase each other and their desires from one hotel room to the next, losing the meaning of life and their pants on the way. In Feydeau’s comedies, under the brightly polished surface hide the horrors of life, which Jean Cocteau compared to the world of Franz Kafka.
Hamlet, the heir to the Danish throne, arrives home to the funeral of his father. He finds his mother married to his uncle, the new king. Mourning turns into a wedding. However, Hamlet cannot find peace, he is tormented by questions and doubts and starts to investigate. Hamlet, Horatio, Laertes, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Fortinbras are peers of a young generation. They study abroad, start life together, but all meet with a different fate. In addition to which they have to carry their fathers’ fates as well. Where will each of them end up? It is one of the questions the performance strives to answer.
“I’d like to tell you about what happened to bourgeois culture during the ten years, which began on the day of the Anschluss, the end of the Austrian independence.” Márai intended his work to be the third and final volume of Confessions of a Civilian. However, it remained forgotten among the author’s heritage until 2013. The manuscript is dated to 1950, so it could be regarded as Márai’s first completed work as a émigré. The author chose the starting date to be the day of the Anschluss in 1938, which he regarded as the death of Europe as we had known it. I Wanted to Remain Silent is a confession about an era lacking values, and also a precise account of bourgeois Europe and Hungary, interpreted by the magnificent actor, Géza Hegedűs D.
The Vígszínház opened its gates in Budapest in 1896. In the same year in Norway, Henrik Ibsen wrote a merciless play titled John Gabriel Borkman. According to the main character, a corrupt and selfish banker, money is a natural force that makes the world go round. Following his downfall, however, he takes on the role of the victim, and ruthlessly tramples on his wife, his ex-lover and his friend. He is trying to reinstate his credit and his damaged reputation. But can one avenge a ruined life, once the harm has been done? Perhaps there is hope that a new generation will be able to put everything right.
In a beautiful poetic monologue, Kertész comes to the realisation that one cannot bring a child into a world that could allow atrocities like the holocaust, to happen. The deep and accurate analysis of our own past thus turns into the realization of the impossibility of our future.
With this performance we pay tribute to the Nobel Prize-winning author, Imre Kertész.
The legendary love story of Julika and Liliom has inspired great artists all over the world. Orson Welles adapted it for the radio, Fritz Lang for the screen, and Ingrid Bergman played the role of Julika. In the Vígszínház it was Gyula Csortos and Irén Varsányi, who first played the leading roles in one of Molnár’s most peculiar work. In the most recent version Attila Kaszás and Enikő Eszenyi gave unforgettable performances. As for now, the heart-breaking love story will be brought to life by Károly Hajduk and Csenge Szilágyi.
Ferdinand, King of Navarre, and his three noble companions take an oath not to give in to the company of women. They devote themselves to three years of study and fasting. On the very same day the Princess of France and her three lady-in-waitings arrive in town and turn the well-constructed plan upside down. Scheming, breaching of vows and misunderstandings pave the road to love through the thick shrubbery of rhymes. Love’s Labours Lost is Shakespeare’s most playful comedy, boasting more than 246 puns.
A little girl is playing in the dusty attic. She finds a mirror and a lipstick in her grandmother’s old case. As she paints her lips and looks in the mirror she suddenly sees herself as a famous singer: Magdaléna!
Hadar Galron’s poignant but also freshly funny play takes in a bath for women, in a mikveh. MIkveh is a ritual bath where women once in a month purify before they sexually contact with their husbands. These 8 women in different ages are regulated by religious rules and try to fight for their freedom, rights and accceptance in a world dominated by men. Hadar Galron contemporary Israeli playwright wrote this play in 2004 and ever since it became a world-wide success. The Hungarian premiére is directed by Michal Docekal, director of National Theatre Prague.
Majgull Axelsson, the brilliant Swedish author has received numerous literary prizes over the years.
After several decades have passed Miriam, an old Holocaust survivor, feels it is time she uncovered her secret in front of her family.
John Cassavetes was one of the most exciting filmmakers of the New York Film School, one who revolutionized American cinema. Besides directing poetic films of a personal tone, he also produced shows with his own theatre company, where he regularly appeared in various roles.
Zoltán Grecsó’s and Beatrix Simkó’s duo puts Orpheus’ and Eurydice’s mythos in today’s conditions, giving a special interpretation to this so many times presented love story. Now, Eurydice will be expelled to the hell of our present world. Of course, she will be followed by his lover, the famous singer of the Greek mythology, but even though Orpheus understands the language of the animals, this world is and remains unfamiliar to him, and suddenly he gets helpless and incapable – he has no vigor to confront the ethos of the 21st century.
Allen Felix, the New York intellectual with those unmistakeable glasses - is in a deep crisis: his wife left him, he lives alone in his NY apartement contemplating about the mistakes he had committed... meanwhile he is stricken by fantasies. He starts talking to his favourite movie hero, Humprey Bogart, expecting to learn the secret of how to become a successful, irresistable man... Based upon the famous Woody Allen movie, this play is in the repertory for 25 years now, with Kern András playing the Hungarian Woody Allen.
A couple is living their everyday life in a block, when a stranger, a Hungarian from America appears on their doorstep claiming that the head of the family saved his life back in 1956. He is here now to express his gratitude, but strangely the paterfamilias doesn’t want any of the expensive gifts.
What does Attila József mean to us? We know his life. We all have our favourite József poem. We keep reinterpreting his lines, as we grow older. But we rarely consider the devastating passion and yearning to love, which burned inside him. Sándor Márai wrote about him in his diary: “With the power of madness, with a single word Attila József reached deeper than anyone else had done before him.” Miklós Vecsei H.’s solo performance draws on this depth, it is from this place that he tries to present us the poet’s walk of life, his loves and poetry - not far from the lowest stone of the embankment.
This Attic is the most extraordinary place, where anything can happen, just like in tales. Here, between sky and earth, a young scientist tries to develop the most intelligent computer ever, spending all his energies on this job. But all of a sudden mortal and immortal creatures appear in the attic and start disturbing him. What he has to understand now is more difficult than the job he did: that he has nothing to do with the world he knew about so far... This musical is deeply the Vígszínházs own: it was born here and it is uninterruptedly on the repertory since its opening: 29 January, 1988. This year (2008) we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our most beloved attic.
One queen. Twelve prime ministers. Sixty years. Queen Elisabeth II is the most significant reigning monarch of the twentieth century and our times. The play is centred on the weekly audiences given by her to her prime ministers: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron among others. Not only we can get an insight into the hardships of governance, but we can get to know one of the most amiable, witty and inspirational personalities of our time and the ministers serving her country.
The main character of Mihály Kornis’ ballad is Mária Tamáska, wife of Hungarian communist leader János Kádár. The story of a woman without a history of her own turns into a legend in front of our eyes. The first lady of the Kádár era lives her life in the darkness, in the hollow labyrinths of prisons and congress palaces without ever asking, wanting or doubting. She is a servant. In Kornis’ text her silence finally speaks.
Whichever stage of our life we may be in, may our tune be happy or sad, the writings of Dezső Kosztolányi, much-loved Hungarian poet of the early 20th century, always remind us how our journey here on earth could be more harmonious and cheerful if we keep an open heart and the child within.
Following the success of his previous play, Doom, Attila Bartis has written yet another disturbing and ruthless story for the Vígszínház. The play takes place in a theatre and is full of deep secrets, painful and smouldering lies, as are the private lives of the actors. János, the witer-dierctor is in rehearsal for his new play. In the heat of the intensive work real life and life on stage, private lives and the horrors of the fifties mingle almost unnoticeably. The line between lie and reality appears to be very very thin. Who betrayed who? The past is there to haunt everyone.
To our great joy, Attila Bartis received yet another literary prize in May 2016. His novel The End, was awarded the public’s prize of the Libri Literary Awards.
Directed by Rémusz Szikszai, this performance is the Vígszínház’s tribute to the 1956 revolution.
The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin’s most influential work, is a deeply humanistic piece of cinematic art. The ruthless sarcasm and ingenious clowning, which Chaplin uses as he plays both the little barber and the great dictator, relieved millions of their anxieties. His unforgettable accessories, the moustache, the shoes, and the bowler hat along with his gestures have all imprinted themselves onto our minds.
The story revolves around a husband-and-wife acting team. The husband suspects his wife of infidelity, so he disguises himself as a guardsman with a thick accent, woos his wife under his false identity, and ends up seducing her.
Saint Petersburg, 1869. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider and wider. The sumptuously dressed leaders of the country do nothing but plump themselves. Money, selfishness and superficiality become priorities in everyday life. The streets are noisy and dirty.
Argan a wealthy Parisian cares only about his imaginary diseases. This mania makes him selfish and tyrant. He believes only in medicine, pills, treatments – and in his young wife. Everybody who doubts or disagrees becomes an enemy in Argan’s eyes. That’s why he chooses a doctor for his daughter, Angelique, as well. But Angelique’s heart is already engaged…
It is probably impossible to summarize this miraculous story of Mowgli, Bagheera who escaped from the cage of the human society, the wise Baloo, the mysterious Kaa or the vengeful Shere Khan. The Jungle Book is about birth and death, solitude and partnership, about the magic of youth – so everything which can happen with a kid who had grown up with wolves.
A peacefully sleeping couple in a king-size bed. It is the middle of the night when the husband feels a horrible pain in his chest. He is sure about an immediate heart-attack - and feels his death approaching . As he contemplates on his life, he feels more and more strongly that he wasted it, and blames this on his wife - who is sleeping next to him peacefully with a smile on her face... He becomes so angry with her that he pushes the wife to the floor; when she wakes up he tells her he is leaving immediately to find a new life and a new wife. But it is easy to say but not so easy to do...
The virtuoso play by Hanoch Levin relates the bitter-sweet and desperate fight between this couple. Their ongoing battle truly expresses the universal questions and difficulties of relationships.
Hanoch Levin is one of the most important figures of modern Israeli drama and theatre. During his short life - he died at the age of 57 - he wrote 56 plays. He also wrote fiction, cabaret pieces and lyrics, becoming an emblematic stage director.
The Requiem and The Labour of Life are Levin\'s most well-known plays for international audiences. The first one is composed from Chekhov\'s short stories and was performed in Budapest as well. Moreover, according to Ilan Eldad, the director of the above play, Requiem received the international public\'s attention after this tour. The other favourite, The Labour of Life, is also widely played all over the world. Its Hungarian text by Parti Nagy Lajos perfectly balances between ravish humour and tragedy.
Portia, a wealthy heiress of Belmont, is forced to set her suitors a challenge. The winner will win her hand in marriage; the losers will lose her hand and much more. In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city. But if the ships fail to return, and the money cannot be repaid, Antonio will give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh. And they do fail. And Shylock will have his ‘bond’.
In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.
The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in 16th century Venice must default on a large loan provided by an abused Jewish moneylender. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare\\\'s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous \"Hath not a Jew eyes?\" speech. Also notable is Portia\\\'s speech about \"the quality of mercy\".
Based on accounts, letters and dairy entries of the time, through the life story of János Arany, the play strives to bring the mentality of the time’s great figures closer to the man of our times. By presenting us the human relationships of the Hungarian Reform Era and evoking the beliefs connected to the events of March 15, 1848, the production tries to unravel the connection between our lives today and the ideals of the 19th Century.
One of the most heartbreaking pieces of Hungarian literature, The Paul Street Boys touches both young and old. The Grund has become part of our collective consciousness and common language. We hear the brilliant cast sing the emotional melodies of Dés and Geszti, “The grund is ours!”. We all remember the einstand, when the red-shirted Pásztors steal Nemecsek’s favourite marbles, or the putty club, the botanic garden, the battle on the Grund and Nemecsek, who sacrifices himself for the Grund and his mates. These are key words filled with poetry and memories, which generations keep rediscovering again and again.
It was director László Marton, who established the tradition of producing new musical shows for the younger audiences and providing a unique opportunity for Hungarian composers. The latest of this series is The Paul Street Boys.
Réka Kincses is a young Hungarian film director, writer and playwright born in Tigru Mures, Romania and currently living in Germany. Her film, Campionul balcanic won the prize for best documentary film at the 38th Hungarian Film Festival in 2007. This production of The Penthesilea Program, directed by Kincses herself, is her debut in Hungary as a playwright. It is a family story spanning over generations as seen through the eyes of an exceptionally talented female author, filled with raw sexuality and outspokenness. Penthesilea, despite bearing the name of the Greek heroine, is a modern and neurotic young woman, who has to flee from her destiny determined by her past, and also from the tight and ambiguous relationship she has with her mother. Will she be able to find peace following a rollercoaster ride of one-night stands, abortions and a desperate theraputic treatment? The Studio has become a platform for presenting works by female playwrights, telling thought provoking stories of exceptional women. With Vígszínház’s young talent, Csenge Szilágyi in the leading role.
Two playwrights and a young composer come to an elegant seaside Italian castle. Nobody knows about their arrival. They want to surprise the composer’s lover, the famous prima donna, Annie, with the good news: their new operetta has been completed! But the moment is embarassing because the prima donna just japes with the aging actor, Almády… Certainly, the enamored and enthusiastic composer collapses and this scandalous situation can be solved only by a genius playwright’s idea…
Eberhard Streul \\\'s monologue is about a theatre prop master\\\'s \"evening of a lifetime\". Joseph Bieder, the prop master, is doing his job: he is putting away the props from the stage after a theatre evening, as always, when suddenly he faces a full auditorium. From his immediate embarassment he pulls himself together and starts to tell about his life and job, about the theatre people he met, he tells funny, sometimes sentimental stories about actors he worked with, stories from and behind the scenes.
The play is adapted to the Hungarian stage by Lajos Parti Nagy, the virtuoso poet.
A co-production between the Vígszínház and the Orlai Productions.
Mihail Bulgakov’s play, The Purple Island, tells the story of a theatre company that is rehearsing a play titled The Purple Island, written by a young playwright under the pen-name of Jules Verne. As the troupe is fighting for survival, the sweeping energies of humour and creativity create and bring to life volcanoes, islands, continents and conflicting communities. The play ends with The Purple Island being banned by the authorities. The original production of The Purple Island, which premiered in 1928 at the Kamerny Theatre, Moscow, was itself also banned in 1929.
Friends and relatives gather to help Germaine lick the one million trading stamps she’s won into the books that can be exchanged for anything in the prize catalog. Germaine doesn't realize until the play's conclusion that while the women are all talking, they are also robbing her of her Gold Star stamps.
In this duet of two women, a 90-year-old Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor teams up with a young dancer. Evoking the past and fulfilling desires. Remembrance and the will to live. The euphoria of movement. Squeezing pleasure out of the moment, as if it was the last. Making plans in the cattle wagon. Sea Lavender is not a domesticated plant. It used to cover the planes around Debrecen. It grew accustomed to the saline soil. It belongs to the family of leadworths. It has an acrid scent. It’s a native plant.
The wandering dog lives with a different family every weekend. All the kids adore her, but the parents have mixed feelings. For the dog sees everything, and noses everything out! Andrea Pass wrote this black comedy especially for the Vígszínház and she is also directing it in her first collaboration with the company.
After a tornado whisks away a young Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, to the magical land of OZ, she starts her quest to find the mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion who help her on her journey.
A spectacular and modern performance of this classic piece of Hungarian literature by 19th century poet, János Arany.
Lev Tolstoy considered War and Peace his greatest work, which was received with equal enthusiasm by the people of the time. Today the admiration towards the novel is unbroken. Following his hero and heroine’s fate, through passionate love affairs, tragedies, births and deaths, Tolstoy recounts the constantly changing relationship between East and West, Russia and Europe.