One of the best elements of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj’s production of Be Faithful Unto Death is precisely this type of true passion. For honesty, authenticity always has such an unexpected power, and due to Gellért Ábrahám’s fragile, vulnerable appearance he had proved to be a wise choice on the part of director László Béres: since the acting partners play off this innocence. The speed and pace of the scenes dictated by the musical written by Zsigmond Móricz - Tibor Kocsák - Tibor Miklós are well structured by the little boy. Misi Nyilas is a stranger in a world that, no matter how much it would stress its distinctive nature, is based as much on power relations as is the outside world itself.
29 highly talented child actors between the ages of 9 and 15 take part in the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj’s production directed by Lászlo Béres, with the lead role of Misi Nyilas being portrayed by Gellért Ábrahám (see photo), who within a relatively short period of time has taken up this second theatrical role on the Cluj stage, after The Lubberly Wizzard. The inevitable commonplace sayings that come up concerning his abilities are actually based on real facts: we will hear a lot more about him, his talent, his constantly improving artistic tools, his voice and the way he moves on stage they all entitle this young talent to have beautiful achievements in the future within the world of theater.
László Béres does not deny it, for he is perfectly aware of the fact that the story of the student of Debrecen, as well as featuring child actors within a play are among the basic recipes needed of success. Still, he did not want to stage an "adorable" performance, aiming instead to produce a thought-provoking play, focused on rekindling the honesty and dignity of classical human values. He wanted to direct a play in which Misi Nyilas' sincerity and honesty does not make him a “loser”, one which at least calls into question the models of our daily lives, where the only role models are those people who fight for their own success regardless of the cost.
Samu Csinta: A felnőtté válás zenéje Kolozsváron [The Music of Becoming an Adult at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj], Magyar Idők, 19 January 2017
The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj’s production of Be Faithful Unto Death turned out to be a thrilling, cheerful, riveting performance. From the news stemming around the preparation of the play, we have found out that director intended to forge a team out of the performers, and although his intention was primarily focused on the children, it was quite awe-inspiring to see that the team he was referring to was formed not only by the children, but also by the professional actors themselves. It was evident that all of them have enjoyed the performance and were touched by it, as was the viewer.
We have seen a performance that is at times amusing, occasionally sad or even touching, but certainly has memorable and educational moments for both kids and adults, worthy of being remembered and carried into our everyday lives. In addition to Ábrahám Gellért, who played the leading role of Misi Nyilas, the other 28 children and youngsters also did a very good job on stage, alongside some memorable performances from the part of the professional actors as well. The entire creative team can be very proud indeed of their work. (...).
No, the message of Be Faithful Unto Death is addressed not only to children, although children were everywhere, both on stage and in the theatre hall, running in the foyer and up and down the stairs. They literally invaded the theatre on the day of the premiere. Obviously it is more than just a play for kids. It's a touching plea for honesty, truth, justice. It is the desire to emotionally touch everyone, regardless of age. The emulation coming from the stage, the level of achievement, the couplets and dance sequences, delightful by themselves, led me to leave aside the exaggerated exigencies of the structure of musical theatre and to freely enjoy and participate in this unique form of manifestation that only theatre can provide through its messengers, adult, professional performers, and children, who are masters and disciples alike.
The story of Be Faithful Unto Death is well-known to many people - who is not familiar with the package, the lost lottery ticket stub, the particular tragedy of little Misi. For me, Be Good is a motto, which we tend nowadays to use as a commonplace saying, not attributing an underlying content to it and thus not searching for its meaning. I believe to be good is equal to being honest, and to the efforts exerted in striving for honesty. In spite of the systems and expectations that surround us, it is always and forever important to remain ourselves. This story is about nothing else but staying true to one’s self. László Béres