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October 10., 2021.
Ovation and minutes long applause for Rasputin in Budapest

The company played in front of a full house, the performance had a success similar to a “rock concert”.

On October 6, in Budapest, on the MITEM - Madách International Theatre Meeting organized by the National Theatre included in its program the performance of Rasputin by the Harag György Company of the Northern Theatre of Satu Mare.

MITEM is one of the most important and the only truly international festival in Hungary, which is attended by, not only Hungarian theatres in the Carpathian Basin, but also by companies from several continents. This year, in addition to Hungary, the theatres of Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Russia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine were invited to the prestigious festival.
Rasputin, written by Szőcs Géza, had its premiere two years ago by the company in Satu Mare, directed by Sardar Tagirovsky and starring Gábor Rappert-Vencz. The performance was invited to MITEM shortly after that, but due to the coronavirus epidemic, the festival was postponed. However, the organizers maintained the invitation, which also resulted the performance on last Wednesday on the Main Stage of the National Theatre.

The original invitation was supplemented by a memorable accompanying program in connection with the death of the author, Szőcs Géza, a year ago (the poet-playwright was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic). Before the performance, the National Theatre remembered the author at a special event in the Kaszás Attila Theatre Hall. Here, under the leadership of Bessenyei Gedő István, the artistic director of the Harag György Company, the memory of Szőcs was recalled by Vidnyánszky Attila, the CEO of the National Theatre, literary historian Fazekas Sándor and director Tagirovsky Sardar. Fazekas spoke about his literary activity as a former student and later colleague of Szőcs, and Vidnyánszky Attila revived the joint theatrical work, during the production of Liberté ’56 in Debrecen, the Ludas Matyi, and later the Passion of Csíksomlyó, were born. From what was said, the image of an ever-glowing, full-blown artist emerged, who wrote theatrical texts rather than pieces, and left it to the director to freely interpret, apply, and colour what was written.

Bessenyei Gedő István and Sardar Tagirovsky talked about fate, as a result of which Rasputin was included in the program of the Harag György Company. Literary historian Kereskényi Sándor recommended the play to the artistic director of the company, which had been previously mentioned by the director in connection with his older works in Italy - after that they decided to premiere the text in Hungarian and began the joint work in consultation with Szőcs Géza, and the production had a big impact on him. "This puts Satu Mare on my emotional map," he said then, after the premiere.
The performance started at 6 pm at the National Theatre, and tickets could not be bought days in advance, as the audience also insisted hang on to their originally redeemed tickets for more than a year, which thanked the unparalleled theatrical experience with a long round of applause and ovation after the company’s performance.

„Noisy, as they say, a rock concert-like success for the Rasputin performance, which may seem unusual even to the much-tried festival audience, but not by accident.
Both the work of the writer who passed away last year and the stylistic prowess of the performance justify this success. (…) Sardar Tagirovsky’s style-creating direction perfectly expands the depths of the text, in this strange historical panopticon, which also evokes archaic theatrical forms, we constantly “play” with time, balancing on the border of imagination and reality. With time, which appears in the performance in an extremely wide variety of shapes, from tick-tacking musical effects to the portrayal of Marcel Proust, a writer figure associated with personal time. We review this “death-dancing blood carnival” (Szőcs), the madness of the twentieth century, in the meantime we promise that we will do everything in our power to live in the most beautiful way, says László Nagy”, writes in the chronicle MITEM Judit Ungvári.

Following the performance, the actors and creators attended an audience meeting where they also talked about the joint work, the harmonious but unusual rehearsal process that led to the production.
Géza Szőcs's drama is a historical discovery of our collective European and global conscience. This drama focuses on historical reality through Rasputin’s fictitious filter. This fiction is the last refuge of passionate survival in the apocalyptic forest of mankind. Because it longs for the peace of the world in a childlike way. To what it’s like when we don’t kill each other in society and in wars. In this world, all poetry flirts with reality. All longing dances with giving up. Everything is done with philosophy. The drama is just like the image that has developed in us of the figure of Rasputin in our world today. Divine and infinitely human while being creepily historical. For the sacred and sinful figure of Rasputin is elusive, for his power does not come with the power of emperors, kings, and tsars, but with the enchanting gaze of players and rogues.

Cast: Rappert-Vencz Gábor, Bándi Johanna, Gaál Gyula, Frumen Gergő, Orbán Zsolt, Zákány Mihály, Péter Attila Zsolt, Kovács Éva, Budizsa Evelyn, Poszet Nándor, Varga Sándor, Bogár Barbara, Gál Ágnes, Laczkó Tekla, László Zita, Méhes Kati and Rappert-Vencz Stella. The set and costume designer: Kupás Anna guest, composer: Bakk-Dávid László guest, musical director: Manfrédi Annamária.

Rasputin continues to life after the performances in and around Satu-Mare and three festival performances: in Hungary several theatres - including the Csokonai National Theatre in Debrecen, the Móricz Theatre in Nyíregyháza or the Szigligeti Theatre in Szolnok -will host the production, and also a series of guest performances are in works beyond borders.
In Transylvania, the audience has been able to see the performance at the DráMa Festival in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Baia Mare and Carei, but in the future it can also be presented in Oradea and Miercurea Ciuc, according to the company's plans.

In addition to the DráMa Festival, Rasputin also performed at the Kisvárda Festival of Hungarian Theatres, where Gábor Rappert-Vencz received the prize for the best male protagonist, and the company received the prize for the best corporate work.

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