On January 13, 1943, the boulder with which the Hungarian army in Sisyphus had met its fate began to fall in the Don bend... Sixty thousand men froze to death there, in the mine fire, in the icy wind, in the snow... The Totes is not about them, or not only about them, perhaps even about something else, but I always thought about them when I was writing it,” Örkény writes in the preface to The Totes. This is the idea that was also the starting point of the Berehove performance.
This is also what makes Attila Vidnyánszky' s directing so special. After its premiere in 2004, it was written that it is not about a war of the past, or about war in general, but specifically evokes the Second World War, in the spirit of Örkény. In the last 19 years, a lot has changed in the world, which rhymes with the tragicomedy of the vulnerable without direct references — as the writer called the Totes.
Nowadays, unfortunately, another layer of meaning has been added to the basic situation of the play, as it is impossible not to see the tragedy of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war in the lives of its characters. In this light, the soldiers' songs are different, the figure of the postman who does not pass on bad news is different, and of course the Major is different.
Section: 30th Jubilee of Berehove Theatre
Hungarian theatre and opera director, teacher.
He was born in Berehove (Ukraine) in 1964.
He graduated in Hungarian literature and linguistics from Uzhhorod State University (1985). He taught literature and history for two years. In 1992, he graduated in theatre directing from the Karpenko-Kary State Academy of Theatre and Cinema in Kyiv.
In 1993, he founded his own company, the Gyula Illyés Hungarian National Theatre in Berehove, of which he is still the Principal Director.
In 2004, he was appointed Principal Director of the Hungarian State Opera House. In 2006 - 2013, he was Director of the Csokonai National Theatre in Debrecen.
Since 2013, he has been the Director General of the National Theatre. In 2014, he founded the National Theatre's MITEM festival (Madách International Theatre Meeting).
Since 2023, he has been a member of the International Theatre Olympics Committee and Artistic Director of the 2023 Budapest Theatre Olympics.
He has also directed at the National Academic Theatre in Kyiv (Leszya Ukrayinka Theatre), the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg) and the Hungarian State Opera House.
His performances have toured Europe from Stockholm to Moscow and Tbilisi, from Strasbourg to Nancy and Kyiv.
He has received many awards, including Ukraine's Artist of Merit (2002), the Meyerhold Prize (2009, Moscow) and the Kossuth Prize (2011).
His films include Liberté 56, The Boy Who Turned into a Deer.
He has taught acting at the Karpenko-Kary State Academy of Theatre and Cinema in Kyiv and at the University of Kaposvár. Since 2020, he has been the master of a directing class at the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest.
He has been a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2005. In 2008, he co-founded the Hungarian Theatre Society and has been its President since. Between 2010 and 2013, he also served as Chairman of the Theatre Arts Committee under the Minister of Human Resources. Since 2020, he has been Chairman of the Board of the foundation operating the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest.