On Tuesday, 13 June, at 8 pm, the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj will present its last premiere of the 2022/2023 season in the Studio. The production of Electra, based on Sophocles' tragedy, will be directed by Botond Nagy, with the adaptation of the text written by Ágnes Kali and Botond Nagy.
This is Botond Nagy's fourth collaboration with the Cluj company, having previously staged The Blind, A Doll's House and Journey by Moonlight.
At the press conference preceding the premiere, the director talked about why he decided to direct a production based on Sophocles' Electra: "At the beginning, it is always important for me to encompass everything that is connected to a title, a material, a theme - to embrace it all like a child's first desire, to make it all mine. And then, as we get towards the rehearsal stage, things start to settle down: including the "What? Why? How?", the casting, I start to see the desire taking shape in front of me. Re-reading Sophocles' tragedy, Agnes Kali and I unanimously felt that this text was so strong that we saw no point in adding any variations. We tried to demystify it a bit: we didn't touch the text radically, but we did purge what was more connected to Greek mythology and wanted to keep the essence of this text, which is very powerful in itself."
Ágnes Kali, the dramaturg of the production, added: "The most important thing with this text was that this is the version in which the work is most concerned with the characters. It's very character-focused, and that was the main reason for choosing Sophocles' text. Knowing the company, we knew which role suited who and what to do with it. When dealing with Greek tragedies, it's easiest to go to the mystical, and in the theatre there are many cases of "Let the mystical sort it out." But what if we abandon mysticism and instead trust the characters to see how they can exist in this demystified situation. The moment this story is out of that space and time, out of the court of Olympus, the truth of the characters comes to the fore, and that was an important starting point for us."
Csilla Albert, who plays the title role in the production, said of her relationship to the role, "I read everything I knew before rehearsals started, every Electra that was ever written, I tried to absorb everything, but then I let it go. There were times when I thought I had nothing to do with this role. But since this is our fourth time working with Botond, I figured he'd seen me in so many situations: he'd seen me in The Blind, in A Doll's House, in Journey by Moonlight, has witness the process of agony that I usually go through, so I assumed he knew why he'd given me this role. I still have the lingering questions about how I can reconcile my character with this woman that Sophocles has written as very exciting, but I trust Boti completely because he knows who I am and he knows where all this meets Electra."
The production is directed by Botond Nagy, with the collaboration of set and costume designer Dragoș Buhagiar, dramaturg Ágnes Kali and composer Claudiu Urse. The lighting design was created by Botond Nagy and Dragoș Buhagiar.
Tickets for the premiere of Electra, as well as for the performances scheduled for June 14, 15 and 26, can be purchased at the theatre's ticket office (weekdays between 10 am and 2 pm) or online at www.biletmaster.ro.