Hungary • National Theatre, Budapest
Director: Viktor Ryzhakov
Performed in Hungarian. On MITEM with English subtitles.
1 hours 30 minutes, without breaks.
Irina, a hairdresser, believes unconditionally in pure and sincere love. She makes up a story about a man in prison. She forgives this man, several times, even at the end when he tries to kill her. What is real and what is a figment of her imagination is for the spectator to decide. Irina clings to this man because he makes her feel free. There are other men in her life: the fireman, a regular client, and Irina's first husband, a failed drunken artist who only torments her... But where is the sense of freedom?
The Hairdresser presents the universal problems inherent in the fate of a woman longing for happiness using Gogol's grotesque portrayal of the tragedy of little people. The pain wrapped in mirth and love, a distinct feature of director Viktor Ryhzakov's theatrical language, turns the contradiction between human desires and harsh reality into a poetic vision.
The production, originally presented at Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen (2009), has been performed over a hundred times and in 2010, it won the Award for 'Best Performance' at the 10th POSZT (Pécs National Theatre Meeting), with Nelli Szűcs winning the Award for 'Best Actress'. The production has been a guest at several festivals: REFLEX International Theatre Biennale (Sfântu Gheorghe), Panorama Festival (Minsk), Volkov Festival (Yaroslavl), GogolFest (Kyiv), Béjaia International Theatre Festival (Algeria).