ENCOUNTER – the most beautiful of love stories through the lens of Enikő Eszenyi
15 June 2017, 19.00 hrs, SND New Building – Drama Stage
The trilogy Purification, Encounter and Funeral by Péter Nádas isn’t among the most popular in Hungary, even though the author is one of the most interesting figures in Hungarian literature. His inimitable writing is a unique phenomenon within the context of Hungarian theatre literature. The trilogy is no exception. The three plays are closely linked to the Eastern European context of the 1970s and 1980s. The Encounter is a direct confrontation of an individual story of a young couple that relives and re-experiences their common past marked by the flow of meta history. The play Encounter that makes part of the trilogy, was written in 1979 to be premièred six years later.
As part of the Eurokontext.sk festival, the foremost Hungarian theatre Vígszínház and the director Enikő Eszenyi are bringing the most beautiful classical love story re-narrated in the universal language of theatre. It is made of model situations and the I is a play of wisdom and grace with subtle sense of humour and description of reality that touches upon our senses. It is a play containing a powerful psychological conflict where silence has its telling value. On stage, self-control struggles with insanity, forgetting with memory, wisdom with ignorance; simply, a man and woman meet. Through the woman, Nádas speaks of the complexity of life, the life of the past which, however, is intertwined with that of the present. The play is inspired by a true story of a woman exiled from Budapest in the 1950s. Nonetheless, today it is no longer a masochistic memory of the past and of the tragedy experienced, but also a gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation. The two characters were simply bound to meet.
Having graduated in acting at the Theatre and Film Academy in Budapest (1983), Ms Eszenyi was hired by the Budapest-based Vígszínház theatre, one of the most prestigious and largest theatres in Hungary. In February 2009, she was appointed the artistic director of the theatre.
Buchner’s Leonce and Lena in the Budapest Chamber Theatre was her directorial debut. It earned her seven national awards at a festival in 1991. The play became part of repertory for five years. In 1992 she staged West Side Story to earn her the Best Director Award. Her production of Kleist’s Das Kätchen von Heilbronn was again received with outmost delight among audiences and critics alike.
Her first staging of Shakespeare was linked to the SND Drama Company. As You Like It, premièred here in 1996, brought Ms Eszenyi the Best Director Award at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra. Five years on she was nominated for the same award for her adaptation of Antony and Cleopatra again staged at the SND Drama Company.
Ms Eszenyi made productions for the National Theatre in Prague, though her works took her well beyond Central Europe. Apart from Washington DC, she directed Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in St Petersburg. The Opera of the National Theatre in Prague marked her debut as opera director, when she staged Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella). In 2009 she directed Shekespeare’s Othello at the Vigsingház. The production the featured at the international theatre festival in Seoul, South Korea.
Enikő Eszenyi is laureate of multiple Hungarian national awards, including The Jászai Mari Prize, the artist laureate and The Kossuth Prize (2001 – the most prestigious Hungarian award. She also received the Order of Merit by the Republic of Hungary. Ms Eszeny was appointed Hungary’s ambassador of culture in 2010.
Her acting profile includes a whole range of lead roles from the global repertoire, from Shakespeare through Russian drama from the period of Realism, to the foremost Western playwrights such as J. B. Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Osborn or Bertolt Brecht. Ms Eszenyi proved highly successful in film as well and is the laureate of the Best Actress Prize from the Hungarian Festival and The Hungarian Theatre Critics Award.
You will have an opportunity to meet Enikő Eszenyi within the framework of the Eurokontext.sk festival during a panel discussion on 15 June at 11.00 hours.
The play Encounter was premièred at Vígszínház in 2015.
ENCOUTER, directed by Enikő Eszenyi and presented by the Vígszínhás theatre, is brought to you during the Eurokontext.sk festival on 15 June at 19.00 hours on the Drama Stage in the SND New Building. Tickets are available in SND Box Offices or online at www.eurokontext.sk. Telephone reservations can be made on (+421) 2 204 72 289.