In the 1720s – not long after the Turkish occupation and the defeat of the war of independence – the population of the Southern Great Plain faced truly difficult times. Szeged and its surroundings were plagued by epidemics, drought and famine in addition to a partial and oppressive administration.
The crisis caused by the misfortunes and the desire to find scapegoats played a significant part in the great Szeged witch trial on 23 July 1728. Twelve people were burned at the stake accused of selling the rain and the fat of the land to the Turks.
Attila Lőrinczy's play does not seek to reconstruct the events, but, while respecting historical facts, tells a fictional story that tries to explore the circumstances, interests, passions, beliefs and human frailties that led to the unprecedentedly cruel sentence. And however dramatic the outcome, the (pre)trial process, which is conducted on the basis of absurd accusations, inevitably also contains a touch of absurd humour....
Gábor M. Koltai graduated in 2000 as stage director from the University of Theatre and Film of Budapest (SZFE). His directorial works include both contemporary and classical plays in various theatres of Hungary, Transylvania and Slovakia, as well as collaborations with independent theatre companies. His works include the plays of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Sophocles, Wedekind, Ibsen, Arthur Miller or Kleist, and have been invited to the official selection of the POSZT (HU), Theatre World Festival (CZ), Contemporary Drama Fest (HU), TESZT (RO) or the FNT in Bucharest. His staging of The Danton Case has won the Theatre Award of Budapest in Best Director category. A lecturer at SZFE, where he teaches acting and drama analysis. His essays regularly appear in literary periodicals. His writings for his PhD research topic (The World View of Renaissance Stage Horror) are currently under arrangement into a single-volume publication. His translations include theoretical books and literature, plays from English and Declan Donnellan’s book on acting, The Actor and the Target.