Emma Rosznáky Varga: Imedzsin

We can see pleasantly whistling actors around a wooden house, they accentuate the blue-red building accompanied by light jazz, they also have uniformed costumes of the same color. The idyll and serenity of the opening image is soon broken by a song performed in baloney, Merlin is born. From that moment on, the performance is full of a cavalcade of colors and styles, a never-ending, witty craze in which Arthur, Mark Twain, John Lennon and Yoko Ono fit together. The directing of Zoltán Balázs followed the monumental material of Tankred Dorst, while at the same time he added more to it, if I may use the term: “overbid” it; it became an eclectic, unique creation in every way. The young actors portray many characters, with Gyöngyvér Bognár playing Merlin being the only one to stay in one role all the way; at the same time, the actress is separated from the elementary game mode around her (her costume is also a different color: black-yellow), she is the director and narrator of the events.

It’s hard to give a comprehensive picture of the more than two hours performance as a whole, Merlin is an extremely complex piece of work, with a diverse design language. The house dreamed up by Zoltán Balázs is a central set element and is already multifunctional: rotatable, adjustable upside down, openable, simultaneously displays Merlin's home, the rock hiding the Excalibur, the round table, virtually anything. The set eventually reflects the world of Maladype’s new performance: a captivating brainstorming session in which no element performs the same function twice, a changeable and ambiguously extravagant world from glove puppets to tin cans. The other key, with which the performance can be summed up somewhat, is Merlin herself, who is aware from the first minute of her birth of the circumstances of her own death, the past (Trojan War) and the future (heart transplantation); Merlin also gives a mixture of historical facts. However, the director interprets universality and the historical panorama by quite modest means: it is a world that also exists in its own unreality; the performance conquers with its grandiose ingenuity.

The company plays wonderfully, tuning in to each other, keeping the composed world together, all of which require terrible attention from the players, real collective work. In the performance, so to speak, historical figures outside the legend become an inexhaustible source of humor. The twisted Mark Twain, whose language is kneaded from English and Hungarian, does not get tired for a moment, and the knights of the round table with their defected speech also shine. Mark Twain is connected to events as a kind of political-cultural parable, and the dalliance of John and Yoko forms an interesting parallel with the lovers of the legend.

The performance features several musical styles: in addition to the aforementioned jazz, pop, choral work and rap are also performed (almost always acapella), but mainly Beatles, and most notably John Lennon's song Imagine. The directing of Zoltán Balázs is a bold work, in which creativity, professionalism and especially humor will become an exciting unity, it was good to encounter with.

Emma Rosznáky Varga, Kisvárdai Lapok, 2021

Translation by Zsuzsanna Juraszek