Tamás Koltai: Poor monarchs

"Zoltán Balázs directed a very amusing performance on the Maladype Base. We sit around a circular, staired podium, out of which an orange tree grows designed by Judit Gombár. We don’t need to suspect allusions, in Schiller’s drama someone is sent to bring some oranges, which is hereby on hand, and once the king stops Posa’s mouth with orange and this isn’t either symbolic. The actors are most of the time onstage, they perfectly use the staires symbolising hierarchy, and even if they are not on scene, sitting still, there body language refers to their relations with the others. Sometimes they secede from the central podium, for example Philip shouts at his empire from the open window at Mikszáth Square, and Posa will be shot down in the window by snipers. Their play is concentrated ans intensive, Károly Kuna (Philip II), Erika Tankó (Elizabeth), Zoltán Lendváczky (Carlos), Ákos Orosz (Posa), Gabriella Varga (Eboli), László Keszég (Alba) and Gyöngyi Balsek (Inquisitor) transmit the story with clever interpretation and easy sarcasm.

The sounds of Mikszáth Square and the Radio nearby somehow become parts of Goethe’s Egmont, which seems to be the continuation of Don Carlos in the same evening with the same people. Of course it isn’t, after all it is. Posa’s Flander ideal of freedom is in the hands of Egmont, both played by Ákos Orosz. Egmont compared to the Schillerian type of hero is an ordinary person whose only desire would be livable freedom, if dictatorship – appearing in the guise of Prince Alba – would permit it. His arrest and imprisonment appear as daily news in the phone-in programme of the radio. Gabriella Varga and Gábor Jászberényi, the two presenteres are sitting in front of a microfone which is located where the orange tree grew, talking about political actualities, giving us cooking tips and repling to text messages they get from the audience while singing pop songs perfectly. Ideal of freedom, death row, execution appear as everyday media events. Funny, woeful and true pamphlet. Zoltán Balázs and Maladype thinked it up very well and what the point is: they do it gorgeously."

Tamás Koltai: Poor monarchs (excerpt)