The essay is a survey of recent Hungarian Shakespeare adaptations. In the first part, the essay looks at adaptations that experiment with the Shakespearean text, yet they still market themselves as Shakespeare productions; while they keep most of the Shakespearean plotlines, they freely alter the structure of the Shakespearean texts, dismantle chronologies, shift language registers, and contextualize the plays in a contemporary Hungarian setting. Examples are Örkény Theatre’s 2019 Macbeth and The Shaxpeare Car Wash in Kertész Street. In the second part, the essay moves over to appropriations that are not straightforward rewritings of Shakespeare’s play; they use Shakespeare and the Shakespearean plotlines as cultural metaphors. The plays we discuss (Káva Cultural Workshop’s 2016 Lady Lear and Éva Enyedi’s 2018 Lear’s Death) both adapt King Lear, and strangely, they both appropriate the character of King Lear as a symbol to discuss aging in a contemporary setting. The final example the paper introduces is a Shakespeare burlesque, written by Zsolt Györei and Csaba Schlachtovszky, that premiered at the Gyula Shakespeare Festival in 2021. The essay contests that although the play camouflages itself as a 19th-century melodramatic tragedy, using reflective nostalgia, it becomes a voice of cultural plurality, healthy self-reflexivity and subversion.
How to cite:
Theatron, Vol. 16. No. 4. (2022): 129–142.
Cím/Title (ENG): “A rose by any other name”. Contemporary Hungarian Shakespeare Adaptations on Stage and in Cyberspace
Keywords: Shakespeare, adaptation, Hungary, postdramatic, burlesque, nostalgia