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The Short History of our Time by Dóra Gimesi

Vaskakas Puppet Theater and the ESZME

 

Sunday, 4 December, 11 am

Trafó House of Contemporary Arts

70 minutes without a break

Performed in Hungarian with English surtitles

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Photo: Vera Éder

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Performed by:

Marcella Andruskó

Mara Pallai

Tibor Szolár

Csaba Teszárek

 

Music: Csaba Teszárek

Written by: Dóra Gimesi

Assistant to the director: Anna Rigó

Set designer and director: Károly Hoffer

Contribute: Tamás Fodor, Gergő Pethő, Péter Wagner-Puskás

Age Guidance: 13

Date of first night: 12. February, 2016.

 

 

WHO? The members of the young generation of puppet artists claim that ‘puppetry is not an age but a genre’. Director Károly Hoffer and his actors refute the general belief that puppet theatre equals shows for children.

WHAT? Four young actors, four elderly puppets, a dog, a dead man and a mission. There is a long way from Budapest to Venice on the puppet stage, from the future to the past, from the past to the future. The presence of young actors and the narrated story highlight the old-age paradox, which is the main topic of the show: the soul would still fly freely, mind, imagination, spirit work the same way as before, but the aging body constantly reminds one of the brevity of life. The relationship between the old puppets and the young puppeteers brings to life a theatrical form which presents both the pain of passage and the bizarre humour of old-age struggles.

WHY? The story starts out from the past, from faith actually, but it is very much played in the present. Four elderly people try to fulfil the last wish of a common friend, a former lover, a husband, to have his ashes scattered into the sea in Venice. But their first task is to get hold of the ashes, while this last demand once again (and maybe for the last time) is able to exalt these people, who at first hustle with each other only to couple up later, and go ahead fulfilling the mission. Well, sort of… The occasionally action movie-like adventures take sharp turns: sometimes because of the ever-present female rivalry, sometimes because of the masculine laziness, the ardent desire, the inspiring ingeniousness drives the characters forward, towards Venice, and, actually, towards the end of their lives. Yet, as a side effect of the common adventures, loneliness subsides, just as the feeling of uselessness, aimlessness, in a nutshell: old age. The performance is a miraculous coexistence and co-play of four young actors and four old puppets. Full of charm, tenderness and love.