Surprise Party

At eight o’clock in the evening there is a crowd of people gathering and stealthily looking at each other in the subpass. It’s not stolen perfumes they are selling, no. They are about to go to the theatre to see a coproduction between HOPPart, Tatabánya and and Sirály in an unknown venue, a “secret flat” near Astoria. A show with an obscure goal, obscure content and at this point, an obscure quality.  

The curiosity is palpable and growing with the scared crowd. Before the police arrive we form groups of ten after our names have been read and walk to a flat in Kossuth Lajos utca.  We take our cramped seats, while Gergely Bánki is teasing us with a routine-like earnestness, strengthening the general unease. Slowly the tension eases. The audience is now ready to fool along. Everyone finds their roles in particpating.

The lead actor, Zsolt Nagy (formerly of Krétakör, Kostya in the Seagull) comes late. He is announced like a leading lady. Spectators are but extras next to him. His entrée is grand with a lot of fanfare. He deserves it. He pulls a bravado of being simple. As if he were alive. With curious onlookers under his armpit he is capable of being alone in his among us all. A steely concentration and a staring fight with each spectator. Almost everyone. He checks us. He checks himself. Takes his power from the attention he gets from the auditorium. And gives us strength with his. Of course it is simpler to be honest when there is no orchestra pit between the stage and the audience, it is also more difficult if they are looking inyearface from an inch and when you can feel the very second the attention laxes.

The renowned playwright, Péter Kárpáti wrote a play which feels like improvisation and made it work, together with the actors. A love triangle. A hysterically wired man with lots of cheating and energetic self-cheating.

MGP 2009