András Visky

PORNO – THE STORY OF MY WIFE

A coproduction of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj and the Gyula Castle Theatre, Hungary

Online tickets:

november
5
Thursday
20:00
november
7
Saturday
20:00

Studio
RO
EN
1h 20' without intermission

Éva Imre
Ferenc Sinkó
András Visky

directed by
Árpád Árkosi
 
set and costume design
Gyopár Bocskai
 
music composed by
Tibor Cári
 
choreography
Ferenc Sinkó
 
director's assistant
Alpár Fogarasi
 
stage manager
Enikő Albert
Date of the opening: August 01, 2020
Location of the opening: Gyula, Hungary

“Dictatorship / is not an exceptional state, / what is exceptional is its absence, / if dictatorship is inexistent, / and freedom reigns the space. // There is no explanation /
not for why a dictatorship exists, / but for why there is none, / when there is none, / if there is none; / but I doubt / that there isn’t one / when there is none... ”


For twenty years I carried with me a truly personal story, one that I believed to be unutterable, until, one day, a request was made by The National Theatre of Budapest, and I decided I will no longer put it off, whatever may come.
In 1989, we were waiting for our third child to be born. The due date was very close when it decided, however, not to come into this world. It died inside its mother’s body. It gave up before its birth, not unlike Becket’s self, who was holding monologues in its mother’s womb, wanting not to be born, ending up being stillborn on April 13, on Good Friday.
Since four years prior to that time, I had already been personally declared an enemy of the system – and not just for being my father’s son -, they ransacked our home, locked me in various police and internal affairs rooms for a shorter or longer period of time. And then, after I was released, they followed my every step.
Our baby would have been born on Christmas, arriving alongside the Revolution, however, our Christmas that year ended up becoming not a celebration of birth, but the mourning of our stillborn baby. Its heart stopped beating, it never moved again, it has come to the end of a life it did not even live - who can even understand such a thing?
He should have been birthed dead like that, but he refused to do so. And in turn, our doctors did not intervene, they invoked the strict abortion ban that was in effect, saying that a spontaneous abortion would resolve the situation.
However, by no means did the latter want to occur.
The days went by, we asked them to do something, but they pointed to the internal affairs officer camped out at the end of the corridor: they cannot do anything, they said, I can clearly see why.  A dictatorship also rules over the body, for it is not enough for it to cripple the soul. It mainly targets the female body, humiliating it with the most cruel, indiscriminate means.
Also does the same to the bodies of children and the elderly.
A beautiful woman turned into a two-legged coffin: the horror of horrors.
And then we started counting back the days. I learned a word, sepsis, and a phrase, septic shock, they have been with me ever since.
You should go, beautiful little man, don't take anyone with you from here, let the living stay with the living, the dead with the dead.
Pornography: do not get your hopes up, dear viewer, you will not see naked actors on stage.
Pornography: do not get your hopes up, dear viewer, you will only see nudity on stage, the plethora of political pornography.
Porn: A fictitious pseudonym. The pseudonym does not obscure reality: it uncovers and rapes it.
None of us can escape the scope of political pornography, even the blind can see what is happening: our votes are not enough, it is never enough, our bodies are also wanted, alongside our thoughts, our souls, our bedrooms. The most intimate spaces of our lives are no exception, there are no excuses, there are always three of us in bed, you, your love and the country’s generous leader.
We need to stand in front of our children and the children of our children and tell our own stories. To banish dictatorship from our language, our eyes, our touch, our cells. Until we do, we will live in a dictatorship-addiction. There is no bolder act than to own our story of cowardice.
I always know less about the texts I wrote than the actors who, with their flesh-blood-breath, tear the words out from the realm of abstraction and breathe life into them. As I watch the performance, I suddenly, unnoticeably turn from an author into a spectator, like everyone who is there with me. I forget that I wrote the piece. I cannot even imagine a happier transformation.

András Visky