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Szergej Medvegyev

The Hairdresser 14

The Hairdresser

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).

Nelli Szűcs

Zsolt Trill

László Tóth

Attila Kristán

Stage and costume

Viktor Ryzhakov

Translator, dramaturgie

András Kozma

Stage manager

Márta Kabai


Gabi Kónya

Assistant director

Gábor Vida


Viktor Ryzhakov

Gobbi Hilda Stage
Viktor Ryzhakov

Viktor Ryzhakov

Viktor Ryzhakov was born in the city of Khabarovsk in 1960. He studied at the Far Eastern College for the Arts, the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, and the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, where he completed his doctorate. In 1995-2001, he served as the artistic director of the Kamchatka Drama and Comedy Theatre. In 2001, he began to work as a director and instructor at the academy of the Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT), and in 2012 he was made head of department and recognized director of MKhAT. Together with playwright and director Ivan Vyrypaev, Rizakov launched the Oxygen (“Kislorod”) theatre movement, which exerted a strong influence on contemporary Russian theatre. He is the founder and director of the Five Evenings Theatre Festival in Memory of Alexander Volodin, which was launched in 2002 in Saint Petersburg. Since 2012, he has served as the artistic director of the Meyerhold Centre in Moscow. He has held courses on the art of the theatre in Germany, Poland, the United States, and Hungary. He has directed many award-winning productions in theatres in Russia and Europe. He has also won numerous awards at prominent European theatre festivals (the Grand Prize at the Kontakt International Theatre Festival in Toruń, the Golden Mask Award, the New Drama Festival Grand Prize, and the prize for best performance for his production of The Hairdresser at the National Theatre Meeting in Pécs, or POSZT). In 2011, he was awarded a Stanislavsky Award for his work as a theatre pedagogue, and in 2014 he was named one of Russia’s Artists of Merit.

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