Trafó House of Contemporary Art
Until now, we were the only ones in the countryside. But now the plebs have started to appear. These days every lake – even the tiniest puddle – has holiday cottages all around it. Those rats from the big cities can never control themselves, they just keep on building houses, tending their gardens at weekends, planting tomatoes like crazy and then gobbling them up. It’s fair to say that in a couple of years or so the number of plebs around here will reach excessive proportions.
Based on the greatest dramas by Chekhov, Dollardaddy’s has created a “new” Chekhov in their latest production, which focuses on depravation and hopelessness. The basic material is a mixture of The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull, enhanced with scenes and characters from The Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, The Wood Demon, and Ivanov. Playing the role of Anna, a character composed from a combination of Ranevskaya and Arkadina, is Anikó Für, one of Hungary’s theatrical icons. This is the first time she has worked with independent artists. Lopakhin is played by Lilla Sárosdi, known to many from her performances with the Krétakör group. Chekhov is a new departure in the company’s life, their first outing away from the tiny studio at Trafó, and their first show created for the big stage. Yet they have lost none of their characteristic twist. They still perform theatre in a theatre.
Emőke KISS-VÉGH, Tamás ÖRDÖG, Anikó FÜR, Lilla SÁROSDI, Piroska MÉSZÁROS, Máté Dezső GEORGITA, Sándor TERHES
Costume: Je Suis Belle - Dalma DÉVÉNYI and Tibor KISS
Music: Krisztián VRANIK
DirectOR: Tamás ÖRDÖG
Special thanks to Tamás BÁNYAI, Anna LENGYEL, Balázs MUCSI, Rozi SZÉKELY, Anna VERESS
The script was created using the translations of Dezső Kosztolányi, Imre Makai, Géza Morcsányi and Árpád Tóth.
“This is a new type of acting, a blend of subjectivity and character development. It is not even “acting,” but “plain” existence on stage, something I can hardly describe. It advances lightly with an easy energy, without any dramatic outbursts. Just like an everyday conversation: what lies below the surface is always more compelling. Some have the ability to carry this out in a remarkably natural way, while others remain actors and on the surface. And for some, this will even suit their character well. The scenes balance on the thin line between fiction and reality, where reality is the heavier part, the unknown, the one that unfolds in the here and now. It is as if the performers were saying improvised, unlearnt texts, as if they only knew the context and not the sentences, which seem hesitant, spontaneous, and born on the spot. This would be the new form then, dollardaddy’s trademark style: civilian, commonplace, nondramatic, and lacking a dramatic arc.” Andrea TOMPA, Magyar Narancs
“In the second half of the performance Lilla Sárosdi presses forward as an indestructible and unstoppable ‘large-scale industrial works’ of a housewife. This leviathan of a woman, dressed in lilac, scurrying around in her high heels barely able to walk, screams and snarls with laughter as she gobbles up everyone and everything in her path. And yet she has a common sense and truth of her own, just like the other vegetating members of the troupe, all of whom live devoid of principles that may shape their destiny. Anikó Für acts like a present-day Mari Jászai (legendary Hungarian actress of the 19th Century), with the elegance of a museum piece, delivering a five-star performance of the Chekhovian ‘grande femme’, wrapped in her wondrous dress and covered in the make-up of blindness to life, a phenomenon representing both a lack of awareness of tomorrow and the squandering of the 21st century.” Tamás Tarján, szinhaz.net
“Ördög mixes the plotlines and characters of The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard and Ivanov in such a masterful way that we hardly realize it is a medley of four Chekhov dramas. In the works of Chekhov he has found the best possible subject for this experiment, since the ‘nondramatic’ dramas of one of the fathers of Russian realism are themselves made up of loosely connected scenes whose emphasis lies on the turning points of human fates and on the experience of internal (and external) struggles. The seemingly disconnected, occasionally vulgar text, the unfinished sentences and the apparently self-contained monologues of Chekhov are perfectly suited for creating something exciting and new out of the four dramas.” Richárd Szilágyi, Magyar Nemzet online
Emőke KISS-VÉGH and Tamás ÖRDÖG are young Hungarian actors and theatre-makers, known for their unorthodox shows and projects staged in flats and unusual venues. dollardaddy's (Dollár Papa Gyermekei) is one of Hungary’s youngest theatre ensembles, true risk-takers in every sense: experimenting on the boundaries of real life and theatre in a minimalistic style with very little set or costume, re-narrating Ibsen and other classic playwrights while keeping the characters, the situations and the conflicts, but speaking the lines in their own words. Their original acting style, inspired by the Dogma films, invites the audience to be part of a uniquely intimate relationship with the performers: they are seated inside the "living-room", and everything is happening within their grasp.
City Council of Budapest, BVA Budapest Nonprofit Ltd., Staféta, FÜGE Production, The Symptoms