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Oxygen by Ivan Vyripaev

SzínMűHely Productions

 

Friday, 2 December, 8 pm and Saturday, 3 December, 10 pm

Anker’t

60 minutes without a break

Performed in Hungarian, with English surtitles

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Performed by:

Boy: Sándor Márkus

Girl: Angéla Eke

 

Music: DJ Sanyi and Adam Salman

Hungarian translation by: Orsolya Kis

Adaptation: Kristóf „Színész Bob” Horváth

Visual design: Sándor Márkus

Styling: Angéla Eke

Production director: Mária Szilágyi

Assistant to the director: Eszter Bálint

Directed by: Bálint Szilágyi

Date of first night: 2. December, 2016

WHO? Bálint Szilágyi is on the way of becoming a significant figure in young generation of Hungarian theatre directors. As a last year puppetry directing student he approaches texts with an analytical precision, ‘a lover of premieres’, boldly tackling the plays yet undiscovered on the Hungarian stage. He finds it important for theatre to deal with the problems important also for his generation, to stage topical issues, in a style which is both extravagant and breaks with all existing conventions. This is the main reason why he chose as partners for this venture the two founding members of Nylon Group, Sándor Márkus and Angéla Eke (holder of the Junior Prima Award). The trio tries to exploit the unique, ingenious and sexy potential of puppetry as a genre for grownups. Ivan Vyrypaev is one of the leading members of the generation of young Russian playwrights, author of the play Oxygen, which has become an emblematic work of the new millennium in Russia. ‘A sacred fool of theatre’, who claims no less of himself than to have single-handedly founded a new theatre trend he calls confession, which tries to evoke the metaphysical dimensions of the Russian drama.

WHAT? Vyrypaev’s play is a concert theatre piece: combining free verse and music. It questions the meaning of Biblical commandments, the possibility of their realisation in our times, in our societies. A man and a woman perform ten ‘tracks’, each of which raises moral dilemmas, following the plotline of a quite simple story. Sasha falls in love with a girl and, therefore, kills his wife, yet their relationship quickly turns into a self-destructive frenzy. The play uses the language of the young people. Starting from the Biblical quotations, an almost slam-like musical torrent of worlds is set loose, which is both very much entertaining and thought-provoking. The play is not performed in a theatrical space but at a popular Budapest pub. The soundtrack will be provided by DJ Sanyi and Adam Salman, a well-known DJ duo of the Hungarian underground scene. The text was adapted for the Hungarian stage by Kristóf ‘Actor Bob’ Horváth, a versatile slammer, who followed the rehearsals as instructor.

WHY? The play is permeated with the nihilism and disillusionment of the post-regime change Russia. This public mood (even if twenty years have gone by since), seems to emerge with increasing intensity in present-day Hungary. Higher education becomes more and more of a dilemma, or the question of ‘should I stay or should I go’ among many young people. The alternative to these problems is often alcoholism or violence. The play shows these personal problems in a social reflection, while it successfully avoids all forms of moralizing.