National Theatre from Vienna at the Festival

On Tuesday 14 March at the 23rd Festival there was a presentation of „Eiswind/Hideg Szeleg” directed by Árpád Schilling, one of the most important contemporary theatre directors. The video recording of the spectacle by Austrian National Theatre (Burgtheater from Vienna) was produced specially for this edition of the Festival.

The recording by several cameras, professional montage and the translation by Sława Lisiecka – all of them guaranteed good quality of the presentation. After the spectacle the spectactors pointed out a brand new artistic quality of the show, a brand new method of presenting foreign performances.

After the spectacle there was a long, two hours’ meeting with the authors which lasted till midnight. The meeting with director Árpád Schilling and dramaturgs Rita Czapka and Hans Mrak was moderated by Łukasz Drewniak. At the beginning the guests from Burgtheater said they were delighted with Łódź and the city’s climate. Later Mr Schilling told about his theatre in the context of political situation in Europe and in Hungary. His spectacle was decoded in two ways, it could be understood in two levels. „Eiswind/Hideg Szeleg” tells the story of tho families, a Western European one and a Hungarian one, who meet in a situation of extreme isolation in a small cabin in the woods. In this confrontation violent emotions burst and the consequences are tragic. On one hand the German-Hungarian co-production tells about human and family relations. On the other hand it is the story of how the nationalism radicalizes in Europe nowadays.

Theatre potential was one of the most important subjects of the discussion. Should theatre react to the reality? Can theatre change it? What is the spectator after the show left with? Mr Schilling said it was possible to change the world only after you left the theatre. He did it himself – for many years he carried out his ideas while reaching people who had a little contact with art. It lasted until he ran out of money. Then he returned to professional theatres. He said that while working oin the show he always tried to think of its audience. – It is important to find the language that can be understood by the viewer – Árpád Schilling said.

Thank you for that night! 

Árpád Schilling and Éva Zabezsinszkij
„Eiswind/Hideg Szelek 
Director: Árpád Schilling
Set design and costumes: Juli Balázs
Music: Imre Lichtenberger Bozoki, Karwan Marouf, Moritz Wallmülle
Cast: Lilla Sárosdi, Falk Rockstroh, Zsolt Nagy, Alexandra Henkel, Martin Vischer, András Lukács