Playwright: William Shakespeare, Róbert Balázs Suda, Pál Előd Csirmaz
Translator: Pál Előd Csirmaz
Motion director: Veronika Karsai
Director: Róbert Balázs Suda
Richard II / Richard M. Nixon – András J. Karsai
John of Gaunt / Henry A. Kissinger – Amália Simonfi
Northumberland / Democratic Party – Veronika Karsai
Henry Bolingbroke / Gerald Ford – Levente Lőrincz
Counsel / Charles W. Colson – Krisztina Jezsó
Isabelle, import queen / First Lady – Júlia Szörényi
Robert de Vere, Thomas Mowbray, Aumerle – Gergő Takács
Richard II and Richard Nixon, the US president both had to face the same problems when they rose to power. Politically, they were weak, but their opposition was too strong; they inherited from their former leaders, respectively, an expensive war which they were unable to finish; in addition, constant financial difficulties weighed on their minds.
Both leaders were supported by an intelligent and powerful mentor (in case of Richard, it was Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; as for Nixon, it was Henry Kissinger); both determined to do a yet illegal – but, at the time, quite common – political fake in order to consolidate their power. Although, this manoeuvre went wrong in both cases and led to the resignation of the leaders – at the first time in the history of England and the United States, respectively.
This play shows abreast the two worlds in a way that the characters exist in parallel in Richard II’s 11th and Nixon’s 20th century.
The piece is a lively, rolling political crime story which enables to look behind the exciting and everlasting scenes of politics throughout six episodes.
First performance: December 2005. Budapest, Thália Theatre, New Studio
The characteristics of the motion added to the play are, in short: special, generally speaking, mostly conscious, often bound, and sometimes pantomime like. At length though: to what extent is there any, and what do these attributes mean, see below.
Whoever steps onto the stage accompanied by their body – without their body, it is not at all simple – constantly sends messages via their movement, their gestures and their mere existence. It is hence necessary to make them all conscious (for they are humans and not puppets that are discussed here, in particular) if the play, as a system of numerous components, is to be considered and to be made to consider. I aimed that this scope of visual meaning creation – which is particularly significant in this play – affects not with its suddenness but with its consciousness and definiteness: to support, reinforce, or even question the political, often mass manipulating text edited with superimposing dialogue technique; therefore, to produce a closed system.
One of the main criteria of the play is a sort of strict, tense motion structure which covers all components of motion except for the “inner” scenes. It covers defaults, thesis settlement, and rectilinear journey from point A to point B which all enable the visual realisation of a film-like text transcription, and which represent, beyond the play’s dynamics, places and basic relations, too. It still covers the naturally used gestures in respects of the results of the body speech and behaviour examination and also the stylised gesture system which is similarly conscious and significant as the political, nonverbal type of communication. It covers furthermore the medium and instrument creating hand positions designed in a reversed pantomimic way: by this, the objects themselves are shown, and not their absence is emphasised so the instruments can disappear and can be created again at any time. This strict motion structure covers the emblematic, grotesque-stylised choreographies, as well, which exaggerate minuscule events, make unquestionably serious ones ridiculous, and – not least – entertain.
This is how a complex, unified framework of motions is built up which serves as an additive to the play’s entirety, as an emphasised component out of many.
Official site: http://www.richard2nixon.hu