Anesz is an under-age prostitute and mother, living in a schizophrenic society where contradictory norms and interests are applied at the same time. She is on the run with her few-months-old baby, to avoid being sent to reformatory and the baby being taken into foster care. This is the starting position of a docudrama dealing with social issues by Utcaszínházi Alkotóközösség or Utcaszak (Spec.Street).
The first part of the story is a report on extreme poverty, inherent with prostitution, drug abuse and learned helplessness. But Anesz defies her destiny. As the drama presents her and the baby’s more and more surreal adventures, it also opens up a broader meaning not just for her: we’re all in the same boat.
We’re trapped in our very life, milieu and personality. Are we able to change our defined fates, and if yes, why would we do it or what would make us to do it? Should it be expected from someone to change her/his personality all of a sudden?
The core of the play is based on interviews with mothers making their living as prostitutes. These interviews were recorded in small villages of Hungary’s lagging north-east by the author/dramaturge, Jutka Bari. The material was transformed into participatory theatre in the affected communities – for example schools, foster care centres, reformatories, youth detention centres – by Spec.Street, a community which is looking for the place and role of performing arts in the life of society’s marginalised groups.
“The Chorus of Multiply Disadvantaged Angels”, as an independent artistic performance, is a dense essence of all the meetings, impulses, stories, desires, illusions they came across during this two-year period. All these impressions deeply touched the author and his company and influenced them to compose the eventual play, which will be presented with English subtitles in Budapest’s MU Theatre on December 16 and 17.
After the play the audience will have the opportunity to debate it and the issues concerned with the actors and the creators.
The 30 characters are played by seven actors. They’re child protection workers, racists, an under-secretary, Nancy Davis (a prostitute from Budapest who was killed last year) and even Santa Claus.
The story is presented sometimes realistically, sometimes satirically and sometimes in a fantasy with music and physical feats. Aerialist and gymnastics equipment serve as scenery, police cordon, therapy device and many more real or imaginary scenes in the show.
The actors were trained for aerial silk (tissu) performance by André Rolland. The director is Balazs Simon, the leader of Spec.Street, who was honoured by the US Embassy with the Active Citizenship Award in 2012 for the “Theater for Everyone” project, which brought (and still brings) theatre to the Roma youth of villages.
Lights and graphics were designed by Zsofia Mocsár and music was composed by Atom Santi Bernáth. Cast: Mara Dobra, Noémi Daróczi, Adrienn Tánczos, Ádám Boros, Tamás Rábavölgyi, Krisztián Simó and Balázs Várnai. Recommended for age over 16 years.
“The Chorus of Multiply Disadvantaged Angels”
December 16, 17 at 7pm
Kőrösy József utca 17, District XI