Friday, 21st January, 2011 22:30 (100')
Kornél Mundruczó - Yvette Bíró
Hard To Be a God

Kornél Mundruczó is mainly a film director, but has been working for the stage for some years now, with Krétakör Theatre, Thalia Theater Hamburg and Schauspiel Hannover among others, but basically whenever he finds a topic, a group or a venue which inspires him. During the working process he tries to build a team and often ends up inviting some of the same actors, who become creative partners. It is with them that he devises the productions. He is not an official member of any theatre and mostly works on commission. He has four performances running in theatre at the moment: Vladimir Sorokin's Ice at the Hungarian National Theatre, the Frankenstein-Project and the international co-production Hard to be a God touring at theatre festivals worldwide, and his latest work Eszter Solymosi of Tiszaeszlár in Schauspiel Hannover.

Should we remain observers or should we take action? Young women are held prisoners in the stowage space of two trucks. Where do they come from? Where are they going? They have given up their freedom in the hope of a better future. Subject to the vagaries of their guards and their totalitarian methods, they shift and steer to avoid the traps of being abandoned to the tender mercies of someone. This is a reality-show setting, in which Hungarian film and theatre director Kornél Mundruczó revives the science fiction novel Hard to be a God by the brothers Strugatsky. The dilemma of the character as the outsider – stand around and watch, or intervene and risk violent repercussions? – relentlessly spreads to the audience. An international co-production on the road in Europe.

Váradi Annamária: Annamária LÁNG
Andrea: Kata WÉBER
Zita: Diána Magdolna KISS
Emőke: Orsi TÓTH
dr. Varjassy Károly: Roland RÁBA
Attila: Gergely BÁNKI
Omar: László KATONA
János: János DERZSI
Varjassy Rudolf: Rudolf FRECSKA/János SZEMENYEI
Zsolt NAGY

Set and costume design: Márton ÁGH
Music: János SZEMENYEI
Assistant director: Balázs LENGYEL
Producer: Viktória PETRÁNYI
Production supervisor: Judit SÓS
Production manager: Dóra BÜKI
Production assistent: Péter RÉTI
Technical director, light: András ÉLTETŐ
Sound, video: Zoltán BELÉNYESI
Props: Gergely NAGY
Costumes: Andrea SZAKÁL, Zsanett NYERKY

This production is one that you simply must see. It is a powerful portrayal of a horrible world that Mundruczó and his cast present in such a way that despite all your reservations you stay there and see it through. Fear, manipulation, dependency, hope, misfortune, indifference and stupidity have a shock effect, in places downright infuriating, but at every moment authentic. (...) All this, what is more, we can see in a performance by a wonderful cast.

Volkskrant – Holland  

Mundruczó forces his audience to play God. The spectators look passively on the events taking place right before their eyes, events that are nastier and nastier. (...) The combination of the tableaux vivants on stage and the horrors projected on the screen shocks. Most of all because it confronts us with the fact that reality out there is in fact much crueller still., Belgium

Nudity, torture, intellectual terror and murder – Kornél Mundruczó confronts the spectator mercilessly with violence. (...) It may not be real blood that flows on stage, but watching this reality-show hurts. (...) Moments of sentimental yearning emerge in the musical interludes, when the actors in the lorry begin to make music with anything that comes to hand, be it a dustbin, an iron or a sewing machine., Germany

Breathtaking, East-European hardcore-reality theatre.

Der Standard, Austria

A fathomless abyss, in which people are tortured without restraint. It all happens on two lorries, we are speaking of human trafficking. The women are going to Western Europe in hope of a better future, but there they will be used, soon be living as slaves, until finally, completely stripped of their rights, they become the suffering subjects of sadistic humiliation.

Recklinghäuser Zeitung, Germany

Kornél Mundruczó's staging of Nehéz istennek lenni (It's hard to be a god) comes frighteningly close. A fantastic cast crosses the borderline between reality and illusion.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

Festivals abroad:
Novart Festival, Theatre National de Bordeaux, France, 2010
KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium, 2010
Alkantara Festival, Lisbon, Portugal, 2010
Theater der Welt, Essen, Germany, 2010
De Internationale Keuze, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2009

Upcoming festivals:
POT-Festival, Tallin, Estonia, 2011
Wiener Festwochen, Austria, 2011

Produced by: Proton Cinema
Co-producers: Alkantara Festival, Lisbon, Portugal; Baltoscandal, Rakvere, Estonia; Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal; KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium; Rotterdamse Schouwburg, The Netherlands; Theater derWelt 2010, Essen, Germany; Théâtre National de Bordeaux, France, Trafó –  House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, Hungary
Suppoerters: eky Light, NXTSTP with the support of the Cultural Program European Union