13. 03. 2023


On the occasion of Hungarian National Day, Wednesday, March 15, at 8 pm, in the Studio, the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj will host a guest performance of A helység kalapácsa, a joint production of the National Theatre of Budapest and the Hungarian Drama Theatre of Transcarpathia, directed by Attila Vidnyánszky.

The production will be presented in the framework of the Petőfi 200 commemorative year, in partnership with the Consulate General of Hungary in Cluj-Napoca.

A helység kalapácsa was Sándor Petőfi's first book, published in October 1844 (Versek, which earned the poet real fame, was published only a few weeks later, and it was then that he began writing János vitéz, which would irrevocably elevate him to the ranks of the greatest). The royalty was 40 pengo forints, which the poet immediately sent to his financially strapped parents. The work, which Petőfi called a heroic poem, was not a success, and even years later the publisher had surplus copies of the volume, and in 1847 he omitted it from all his poetry. What could be the reason for this choice? Maybe it was because this comic epic not only sought to parody the genre, but also to mock the tide and the cant of the era's tiresome poetic fashions and nationalism, which, for a young man who had just become an assistant editor, might have seemed a cheeky gesture in the eyes of his contemporaries. The more successful the work became later on, the more its humour, irony, grotesque images of witty word multiplication and the mock-pathetic tone of its parade of hexameters were accepted by the public. The very names of the characters bring a smile to the face of the reader and the prospective viewer: the fifty-five-year-old charming Erzsók, Fejenagy the blacksmith, or as the richly imaginative folk poetically called him: the local hammer, Bellfoot, the churchman with a devious spirit, Bagaria, the friend of peace, the brave Pudgy Palko, the merry drinker of the reverend's two colt foals, the soft-hearted cantor and his "Amazonian" wife Martha.

"For all the charm and humour of the work, this production is also about the Berehovo company, about the fact that theatre is a means of survival. We don't reinterpret Petőfi's work, but we start from the premise that the members of this company are sitting here on their suitcases because of the war and can't be at home. Petőfi, who appears on stage, quotes from the Transcarpathian passages of the Útilevelek, and we think of home... We offer a playful, free form theatre, joining in the Petőfi commemoration year, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth", say the creators of the production.

The giant of poetry Sándor Petőfi is portrayed by Attila Vidnyánszky Jr., with other roles being played by Imre Szabó, Natália Gál, Adrienn Cséke, Dóra Mónus, István Sőtér, Szilvási Szilárd, Tamás Jakab e.h., Attila Ferenci, Fornosi D. Júlia, Anita Polyák e.h., Dániel Séra e.h., Ibolya Orosz, Melinda Orosz and Magdolna Vass.

The director of the production is Attila Vidnyánszky, scenography and visuals: Attila Vidnyánszky, Jr.

The creators of the performance would like to express their special thanks to the BorFolk Orchestra and the Budai Folk Band for their musical contribution.