INational Theater Targu Mures, Tompa Miklos Company (Romania)

THE DRUNKS

Festival Synenergy, Novi Sad/ Serbia, 23th of November 2019, 19:00 (duration 195′ with a pause, 18+)

TEXT: Ivan VIRIPAEV
DIRECTOR: Radu AFRIM
SET DESIGNER: József BARTHA
COSTUME DESIGNER: Orsolya MOLDOVÁN
MUSIC: Csaba BOROS
CHOREOGRAPHER: David DABÓCZI
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, DRAMATURGE: Réka SZABÓ
VIDEO: Sándor SEBESI
CAST:
MÁRTA: Noémi KÁDÁR
MÁRK: Attila GÁSPÁRIK
MAGDA: Dorottya NAGY
LŐRINC: Barna BOKOR
GUSZTÁV: Botond KOVÁCS
DÓRA: Erzsébet B. FÜLÖP
KÁROLY: Ernő GALLÓ
LAURA: Katalin BEREKMÉRI
MAX: Csaba LÁSZLÓ
RÓZA: Orsolya MOLDOVÁN
LINDA: Ildikó P. BÉRES
RUDOLF: Gellért L. KÁDÁR
MÁTYÁS: László Zsolt BARTHA
BÍBORKA: Boglárka-Katalin SIMON
GÁBRIEL: Balázs VARGA
MAN: Szabolcs CSÍKI
SONG: Magda KÁSLER
DOUBLE BASS: Márton KOSTYÁK
PIANO: Csaba BOROS

ABOUT THE PLAY

 

Young girls, models, newlyweds, middle-aged spouses,bank managers, festival directors, cheated husbandsand wives, a total of fourteen men and women of different ages and backgrounds talking about the worldand lost values. As a continuation of the Russian NewDrama Movement and the originator of the Oxygen ArtMovement, the author is experimenting with a theatricallanguage based on a whole new aesthetic: although hetalks about the raw reality that surrounds us, he managesto bring poetry back to the theater.Creating real-life situations, Radu Afrim introduces us tothe dilemmas faced by characters in a strange state ofdrunkenness: Who isn’t afraid of death? What does God’sfaith, human faithfulness and love mean when today’sexperience doesn’t end in transcendence but in longingfor it? How to live without lies?

The decision is obviously up to us.

There are some countries where the problem of alcoholismis a national issue, with Russia being the biggest one. It isclear, therefore, that the Russian author knows a great dealabout the subject of drunkenness. We Hungarians shouldnot be ashamed either – we are generally experts on thistopic.

This time in Targu Mures, the Romanian Radu Afrimhas made an authentic and profound interpretation of Vyrypaev’s brilliant piece. It is more than just a show: in thehallway through which we can reach the studio there is afine art installation. In the huge dressing room, a bunch ofempty bottles of alcoholic beverages, and on the monitors,you can see a series of drunken actors – a paraphrasis of afamous video installation by Bill Viola.There are a lot of actors on stage – all drunk. And they willstay like that forever.

This is by no means an easy actingchallenge: interpreting drunkenness without exaggeration, even if successful in the short run, quickly becomesunreliable. One of the great merits of the play is that thevast majority of actors portray drunkenness incredibly.People of very different statuses come in contact: banker,model, festival director, prostitute, construction worker.

Drunkenness brings them to a state where everyone is interested in the same issues: identity, freedom or love, andall are able to manifest these emotions with an unspeakable sincerity that is characterized by drunkenness. Distorted life situations and destinies are suddenly in front of amirror.

The choreography (choreographer: David Daboczi) is beautiful and the bassist Kostyák Márton and pianistBoros Csaba provide music that evokes classic modernjazz motifs. These etudes are joined by Transylvanian folksongs performed by the actors, which sometimes makethe overall effect more ironic or lyrical.Of the many good actors, I would single out two: Thanksto Galló Ernő’s intense stage presence, the presentationof human possibilities becomes an important element ofthe play. A is it sometimes being said, drunkards sometimes “bare your soul” – and in this performance, theybare their bodies too.

The best example of this is theone of Attila Gáspárik, when fifteen characters are linedup opposite a stripped-down Gasparik who then latermarch of the scene by his guidance. That is eerily beautiful. B. Fülöp Erzsébet, Bokor Barna, Moldován Orsolyaand Varga Balázs are also excellent.The basic question directed by Radu Afrim is whether we hear the whisper of God in our hearts. Thestarting point is that everybody wants to leave thisworld, which becomes surreal in a matter of moments, since there is an inexplicable – but sometimes very understandable – fear in everyone. Whatcan be done? What does the Lord say?

With drunken, obscene honesty, only one intent, one transcendental message remains by the end of the play: “Youmustn’t be shit. As the Tatar proverb says, the bravedie only once, but a coward dies a thousand times.

ABOUT THE THEATER

The formation of the first theater in Targu Mures washundreds of years later than in Western Europe. Before the 18th century there was no professional theater that performed in the Hungarian language. Therewere attempts in the form of student groups that primarily made some forms of educational theater.The first theater building in Targu Mures was built in1792.

Three nobles obtained a permit for the construction of the theater’s building, which was builtin the courtyard of what is now known as the BolyaiFarkas Lyceum. This theater was closed in 1794. Atthe beginning of the 19th century, the idea of rebuilding a permanent theater resurfaced, and KotsiPatkó János, with the help of two councilors, founda new place for the theater.

Construction began onthe square next to the castle, which was ultimatelycompleted by Láng Ádám János.The first official performance of the theater was heldon June 12, 1803, and the first seasons saw 27 performances.In 1820, the theater moved to the Apolo BuildingBallroom. From the beginning of the 20th Centurythe theater was constantly present in the city butdid not have its permanent troupe.In 1946, after the liberation, an order to form theTargu Mures State Theater was brought.

The founders were Kemény János, Ottner Olivér and TompaMiklós. The idea was to make Targu Muresh a theatercenter. The first year they played 51 performances.Until 1973, the activities of the theater were takingplace in the building of the Cultural Palace, whenthey were given a new building next to the mainsquare. After more than twenty years of proving itself at various festivals, at the initiative of the President, the theater changed its name to The TarguMures National Theater. There are two troups working in the theater: theLiviu Rebreanu troupethat plays in Romanianand the Tompa Miklóstroupe which plays theirplays in the HungarianlanguageThe National Theater has7 to 8 premieres in oneseason, both classic andcontemporary dramatictexts.

In 2012, Attila Kerestes took over the position of the artistic director of the Tompa Miklóstroupe.