SHAXPEARE CAR WASH IN KERTÉSZ STREET The stage adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, written by Péter Závada, partly builds on the ensemble’s improvisations. In his original and contemporary version of the old story, the director reflects the current situation in Hungary while pinpointing the bizarre, dark, absurd, disgusting, grotesque, chaotic, pathetic, horrifying, shocking, and controversial attributes of the play’s characters. According to the creators’ own checklist, the production involves a frozen corpse, bones, vomit, spit, nudity, broken fingers, drugs, mixing of poisons, irreverence, vulgarity, smoke, loud music, alarming sound effects and several litres of fake blood. None of this has deterred Hungarian audiences and critics, though, and the production by the provocative director Viktor Bodó has become a sell-out hit, winning the best Hungarian production of the year award.
Viktor Bodó’s production and Péter Závada’s text both intentionally cut out all poetry from Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy and sketch out what would happen if the young lovers lived in a dilapidated Pest. (...) This is a highly professional production with excellent actors and direction, combining various acting and staging styles, from Brechtian dialogues (between Tybalt, portrayed by Zsolt Nagy, and Capulet, portrayed by Imre Csuja), through sometimes feverish and sometimes simply amusing cabaret acts, to direct interaction with the audience.
– Natália Pikli, Prae.hu
(...) you laugh, you cry, and a chill runs down your spine exactly when and as the director commands. (...) The desired effect of the performance is ensured by perfect teamwork of the István Örkény Theatre’s ensemble. (...) The show leaves a room for humour, shocking transformations, exploration of the world beyond our comfort zone and the essential ingredient of Bodó’s productions: absolute and (seemingly) unlimited frenzy.
– Tamás Jászay, Revizor
VIKTOR BODÓ (1978) He studied acting and theatre direction at the Theatre and Film University in Budapest. Since graduating in 2003 he has devoted himself to theatre and film direction, appearing as an actor only in film. In 2008 he founded his own company, Sputnik Shipping Company. His greatest successes include a stage adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial at the József Katona Theatre under the title Rattledanddisappeared, which he presented at the 2009 Divadlo international theatre festival in Pilsen. For this and other guest direction in Hungary and elsewhere he has won a number of theatre awards. The Divadlo festival further presented his productions The Government Inspector (2014) and Diary of a Madman (2017). Viktor Bodó regularly directs in Hungary, as well as in Austrian and German theatres (in Graz, Vienna, Berlin, Köln, Hamburg and Zurich). His directing style, packed full of references, action and wit, has led him to be called ‘the Quentin Tarantino of contemporary theatre’.
ÖRKÉNY SZÍNHÁZ (István Örkény Theatre) One of Hungary’s leading theatres, focused primarily on drama but venturing into all sorts of genres. It has staged more than a hundred productions since its foundation, ranging from Greek tragedies to contemporary plays. Typical for the theatre is the focus on high-quality repertoire and employing the elements of humour, irony and grotesque. Ten years ago, the theatre was one of the first in Hungary to launch a drama education programme, opening a new channel for active and socially engaged interaction with the audience.