Szabolcs Szekeres: Russian Roulette
“Zoltán Balázs’s suggestive monodrama based on the book sensibly focuses on the most exciting motifs of the book; therefore, the chapter on the painfully beautiful Jelena’s secret is also the most powerful part of the production. Every morning our hero awaits his love at the station with his heart in his mouth; he chooses not to take the next bus so that he can see the attractive and intelligent girl, who later turns out to be an NKDV (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) agent specialized in foreigners and tourists. Another memorable situation of the performance is when Kravchenko, who, given the circumstances in the contemporary Soviet Union, lives fairly well off, is confronted by his father, an ex-revolutionary, with the inconceivable inhumanity of the Stalinist system.
Zoltán Balázs is a sensible actor because he can easily and confidently maintain the connection with the audience surrounding him. At one point he asks whether the audience wants to hear the next part or not because, if the situation requires so, he can jump ahead in the text.
We decided that we wanted to hear all from the energetic actor.
The publication of I Chose Freedom (trans. by Péter Konok) by Maladype Theater Public Benefit Association is a stop-gap venture, as we cannot talk enough about the brave ones who, within the framework of the historical cataclysms of the 20th century, chose to stand up for the truth under all circumstances; those people who could look into the mirror with a heart of oak and without significant damages to their name even during the time of the greatest terror.”
Szabolcs Szekeres: Russian Roulette (excerpt), art7.hu, 2016.