Child’s game - Interview with Ákos Orosz / 2010

"It's like dropping the glass now and jumping off the balcony to catch it, falling into a pool, so glad I wasn't dead, but I couldn't swim so I would lie on a floating air mattress" says Ákos Orosz who plays Papa Ubu in Maladype’s racing performance. Why? It turns out from our interview.

- I see you're upset after the professional meeting. Why?

- There was a debate, which I didn't really understand. It was about what a conversation should be about. There wasn't much talk about the piece. They mentioned it on the negative side that Ubu was very fast-paced.

- How do you feel about this during the performance?

- The pace of this performance is fast, which may seem like a rush from the outside. The explanation for this is that King Ubu is mostly acting without thinking. It’s like I’m dropping my glass right now and then jumping out of the balcony to catch it, falling into a pool, so glad I wasn’t dead, but I couldn’t swim, so I would lie on a floating air mattress right there. Incoherent things like that are also happening with Ubu. The cavalcade is started by Mama Ubu, she is the mind in the story, which is a sequence of fast scenes. It is not possible to linger on things very much, otherwise this child's game will lose its meaning. I use this term because kids don’t really think about whether to hit someone’s head with a stone or not. I think if someone feels the pace is too fast, it could be because of our tension, it’s if we’re scared of something and we rush it. But I think yesterday’s performance was liberating.

- How did you feel during the rehearsal process, how much did rehearsing Ubu in front of an audience give you? What did you face?

- I consider these two months to be a great commitment when anyone could follow the rehearsing process. We also rehearsed in the morning, but we didn’t work out for the open rehearsal in the evening, there was no show. This was a challenge because one tends to hide one's own mistakes, stumbles, and searches, and Ubu is quite a big wall, but I wasn't afraid in the meantime. It was liberating and surprising that about forty people had already come to the read-outs because I thought it wouldn’t be the case. After a while, there was an approx. thirty men who always appeared in every rehearsal. Because of this, a team was formed and the atmosphere was as if the company had not eight but thirty-eight members. So we learned a lot from each other. If they said, "It didn't come out so well now," we believed them in this intimate mood. They understood our language, so my doubts dissipated quickly. There was a lawyer, a florist, a computer scientist, and 16-year-old girls coming after high school. All kinds of cultural circles represented themselves so the performance became a common cause. It also brought them liberation that we brought a system into their lives, it was like going to a party together in the evenings. This was perhaps the best rehearsal period of my life.

- Looks like you found your place at Maladype. Sándor Zsótér said about you: "you develop a lot for zero forints".

- Not exactly for "zero forints". In fact, I am not full of money, but who is at the age of 24 at the beginning of his career? I feel that Zoli (Zoltán Balázs, ed.) is paying attention to us, taking responsibility for our professional development. I get good opportunities and that’s very important to me. For us, it is a policy and a way to keep the game very important and to create stakes to keep ourselves in shape at all times. We do performances that cannot be solved routinely, like Ubu, because it will be slow, lame, rhythmless. We always leave room for improvisation and if I am not present with the heart and soul, it will not succeed. I’m basically a lazy person, but I can’t afford that. I get tasks that are very exciting, so my laziness gets no room.

- How do you maintain interest in each other?

- I don't really know myself yet. That's where it starts. That’s why every role is all about getting me to dig deeper and deeper into myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't know my peers completely either, they always get new good roles too, I always see new ones in them. We can bring more and more things out of each other. It's like it's never over. There is always some new form, feeling, taste. If I got bored, it would be like I would eat food, even though a letcho would never be the same twice. Our essence is curiosity. I don’t know yet what I’m going to do in Platonov, but there’s a direction I’m trying to follow. At Ubu, we didn’t know for a long time who would play what, we got to know the whole piece as things unfolded. I have no idea what else is in me, but I'm very curious.

- I also asked Zoli this: to what extent do you have the opportunity to break away from continuous joint work?

- It’s important to me to have a team with guidelines that I feel like they were mine too. However, I play in several other theaters and luckily I also had the opportunity to film several times. I have friends with whom I play music. Maladype is not a thing based on endogamy. Sometimes we drink a beer after a rehearsal, but we don’t get together every night. Work is the most important. People are colorful: Ádám Tompa tries to direct, Zoli Papp puppets, Zsolt Páll has film works, Kamilla makes installations. You can't get stuck on only one thing.

Berta Tóth,, 2010

Translation by Zsuzsanna Juraszek