Rattledanddisappeared

“When I get home, I’ll tear up all my plays.”
the playwright Kristo Bojcev upon seeing Rattledanddisappeared

An innocent and harmless young man, Josef K., is condemned to be removed from society. The world has gone insane; people struggle to cope under the rule of a faceless and nameless regime that churns out absurd orders. Loosely based on The Trial by Kafka, Josef K. slowly realises that nothing is as he imagined in this mad world permanently threatened by violence and punctuated by fragments of Broadway musicals.

This animated (almost carnival) production is reminiscent of an Orson Welles movie, and incorporates elements of action, break-dance and cabaret. It besieges the audience with its unlimited, boundless originality, its aggressiveness, its provocative nature, its paradoxes, its humour and versatility carried to their extremes, its elements of cabaret and circus, its grotesqueness, its cinematic character, its dances and waves. The rave reviews declaring it "limitlessly original", "stunning " and "extremely humorous and delicious " are not exaggerated. Viktor Bodó and András Vinnai introduce us to a highly unorthodox Kafka.

Someone must still be spreading lies about Josef K. The hero of Franz Kafka's disturbingly absurd novel The Trial, arrested one morning without reason then shunted helplessly through a labyrinth of an anonymous oppressor, has now become a bewildered star of the stage.

Rattledanddisappeared is a faithful adaptation of the book by Hungarian theatre company Katona József – faithful insofar as it too is an alternatively exhilarating and stultifying experience, augmented with an abundance of show tunes and Bob Fosse-style choreography. Limiting the playing space to an impossibly narrow and endlessly deep corridor (designed by Levente Bagossy), the production swirls with claustrophobia, paranoia and mania.(...) „Procedures are under way,” Tamás Keresztes's Josef is instructed early on, having already lost the shirt off his back, „you will learn everything.” For both hero and audience, of course, this is a barefaced lie.(...) Bodó's adaptation, written with András Vinnai, does not, then, represent a subversive stab at the ideological constraints of Hungary's communist past, but rather spins into a delighted anarchy where theatre itself seems to be on the brink of collapse.(...)

A deliriously entertaining curtain call goes some way to letting us part on good terms, but when the shadowy powers-to-be finally emerge from all the pandemonium, commanding „all citizens must get calmed down”, a totalitarian nightmare has never had this much of reason.

Peter Crawley, The Irish Times

Rattledanddisappeared” is barbarically vivid pastiche with deep meaning and East-European Jewish humour… An innocent Joseph K. wanders among the spooky and obscene figures – all acted out in a very interesting way by the actors of the company -, on the edge of the world. This East-European joke compensated me for all the other performances of the Festival, with its professionalism, its sensitiveness and its harshness.

Ruth Heynen, Rheinische Post

The actors from Budapest are pressing wild, erotic and comic visions that we have to stand. Parodic figures and dizzying slapsticks centre Kafka’s special humour.

Jussi Suvanto, Aamulehti

Kontakt Festival - Best Director, Best Set Design and Best Actor for Tamás Keresztes playing Josef K
MESS 2005 - Best Director, Best Overall Acting
National Theatrical Festival 2005 - Best Director, Best Performance and Best Stage Design