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Ödön von Horvath: Kasimir and Karoline
The Örkény Theatre’s performance


Location: Örkény István Theatre

Date: 30 November 2010. 7 pm.

200 minutes with one break

in Hungarian with English subtitle

 

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Actors:

Csaba Polgár, Anna Szandtner, Imre Csuja, Pál Mácsai, László Széles, Gabriella Hámori, Zsolt Máthé, Emőke Kiss-Végh, Jusztina Balassa, Ferenc Darvas, Anna Héricz, Zoltán Csire, Bálint Kocsán, Csaba Tóth

Translator: Lajos Parti Nagy

Set design: Levente Bagossy

Costume: Kristina Ignjatovic

Dramaturg: Ildikó Gáspár

Assistant to the Director: Ariadne Érdi

Director: László Bagossy


After his humanities studies László Bagossy graduated as a director from the University of Theatre and Film in 1995. Since then he has been working as a freelance director in Hungarian, German and Austrian theatres and has been awarded several times; lately he won the yearly Hungarian theatre festival called POSZT with Kasimir and Karoline as best performance and best direction. His direction are mostly a combination of a pure but elaborated, restrained but still strong forms of expression and rich, new intellectual contents.

Örkény István Theatre has turned into an independent theatre since 2004. Before then it was the studio of Madách Theatre that has become a musical theatre since then. Örkény Theatre received its name from the writer and dramaturge, István Örkény who is the best known Hungarian author besides Ferenc Molnár (although no theatre has been named after Molnár yet). The theatre’s transformation has been realized by actor-director Pál Mácsai, who is spending his second cycle as director: the theatre formerly playing boulevard is now an important centre of contemporary drama and art theatre in Budapest with a renewed and outstanding company.

Ödön von Horvath was born in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; he was a cosmopolitan from Vienna and Munich; despite of his Slovenian origin and his early years in Budapest the German-speaking countries were his true home. Although his plays’ Eastern-European spirit makes them familiar to the Hungarian stages as well, especially in the times of crisis because of their harsh critical tone towards society.
Although there would be many opportunities to criticise, László Bagossy is not updating directly, but is using one great idea throughout the entire show to fly us back to the age of the play not only to recall but to revive its world. The audience enjoys the colourful images of the Oktoberfest and the old-world cabaret-like piano playing of Ferenc Darvas, but the short, stylized scenes concentrate on the characters’ dramatic self-betrayal constantly. There is no mercy: the sensitive and accurate acting and Bagossy’s directing shows the mean internal motivations or the mere stupidity under the nostalgic surface. Although it has a “happy” ending, we have no illusions left.