The ensemble of the Offline:on Theatre already asked the question whether to stay or to go last year. However, that does not mean the topic is off the stage, since more people are leaving the country now to try their luck elsewhere. So the (air)dancers, acrobats and actors of the Offline:on ensemble ask the question again: “Menni vagy maradni?“ (To go or to stay?).
The project supported by the Norwegian Civil Fund tries to approach the question that engages more and more people at different levels nowadays and mainly with different forms of expression. The aim of the artistic interpretation is more than simply entertaining the audience.
“We have analysed the problem of emigration together with social scientists beforehand, and we have tried to present it in such an artistic form that is entertaining for the people but also urges them to think it over more,” Ágnes Simor, the director of the show, explains.
How can you present the social problem of the brain drain in an acrobatic way? Firstly, this is one of the core elements of the physical theatre, the acrobatics – the movement. There is a lot of movement in “Menni vagy maradni?“ The basic set is a caravan. The Swiss director, Ben Glass, has been working with the unused mobile home for years.
There is an eight-metre-high tower on which the artists Ilka Bardóczy, Geret Kiss, Sophie Zoletnik, Balázs Orbán, Márton Vincze and Glass himself perform all kinds of acrobatic and daredevil movements.
Their characters are so much different as the passengers of a flight from Budapest to London: a hippy is sitting next to a Mafioso, while the tourist can’t take his eyes off the beauty beside him, and the student is thinking whether he should join the street musician.
The questions about emigration are manifold: should I stay or should I go? If I go, where should I go? If I stay, how should I go on? What will happen to my family, who are left behind?
The artists of the Offline:on Theatre circle around the questions in all – but really from all kinds of directions, since the tower, which is part of the stage set, is played on in the same way as the floor of the tower or the walls of the surrounding houses.
During the play the spectators can experience a piece of the artists` lives and get inspiration from them to think it over. For example, over what could be going on in the head of a student longing for experiences, when he is vertically running along a rope on the house wall, jumping and rotating? Or what is the young lady in the scarce clothing thinking, when she is performing her act on a pole simply disregarding the laws of gravity?
However, besides presenting all the dramatically personal stories, which might be the reason behind making a decision to leave the country, humour can also not be missed by the Offline:on, and there are several scenes in “Menni vagy maradni?” that will make the audience laugh out loud.
The ensemble puts a spell on the audience without any slapstick but even more charm, and they do not let anyone stick with too dark thoughts.
Menni vagy maradni? (To go or to stay?)
Art Quarter Budapest
Nagytétényi út 48-50, District XXII
Premiere on May 27 at 9pm
The show will be presented
at an open-air venue after it gets dark.