Simon Grabovac – Sándor Surányi
A STRANGE LOOP
The “Deszõ Kostolányi” Theatre, Theatre Association “Summer Cinema”,
Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, Serbia
Based on the thoughts and works by Deszõ Kostolányi, Chris Cutler, Bernard Montaud, G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky
Directed by Dénes Döbrei
Cast: Emese Nagyabonyi, Orsolya Czumbil, Borisz Kucsov, Gábor Mészáros, Imre Elek Mikes, Heni Varga
Composer: Milan Nenin
Set Design: Emma Pesti
Lighting: Boris Butorac
Coproduction by the “Deszõ Kostolányi” Theatre, the Theatre Association “Summer Cinema”, and the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad
The play has been supported by
The Town of Subotica, National Fund for Culture, National Council of Hungarian National Minority, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Running time: 80 minutes
“Every time when you think something nice about yourself and you are at peace with yourself, you become an originator of peace in the whole world. Each peace and each war are born in your heart.”
The play A Strange Loop,
directed by Dénes Döbrei,is based on two essays on actors. In his work with actors, for the starting point he took the text of Novi Sad poet Simon Grabovac about how props and various effects appear and are used on the stage. Besides this, a philosopher Sándor Surányi’s text about a graduate from the Faculty of Philosophy who cannot find a job was used. This literary hero tries to work in a flower garden and cable factory, and eventually answers an advertisement for a technical master in a theatre, even though he knows nothing about theatre. He gets to know the art of the stage there and starts to inscribe on random objects such as wastepaper or pieces of wood his thoughts and observations about actors, about the way their relationship with the audience changes, about their attitude towards space, responsibilities, about what they do. Eventually, he sets his writings in his room as if in an exhibition.
The two texts served as a foundation from which, through conversations with the cast and improvisations, A Strange Loop
evolved, as a play that focuses on feelings and how to express them.
The “Deszõ Kostolányi” Theatre
was established, more than two decades ago by the Town of Subotica and the National Council of the Hungarian National Minority. It is funded by the Town of Subotica. The performances are played in the Hungarian language, and since 2007, they have been running with a Serbian translation. Over the years, the theatre has been profiled as an experimental, alternative, the so-called artistic theatre of the town, recognisable by its distinctive work and the aesthetics of director András Urbán. The troupe consists of five full-time actors/actresses. During the recent years the plays have been performed at various theatre festivals, not only regional and European, but in Asia (India, 2011) and South America (Brazil, 2012) as well. The theatre is a regular participant in the major festivals in Serbia and Hungary, as well as different theatre events in the region. This theatre focuses on contemporary studio work, which is organically linked to the reality of both local and global life. The performances staged by this theatre are a proof that experimental plays can be part of mainstream theatre, and yet to assume a high ranking position in the region by artistic standards.
Since 2009, the theatre has had its regional/international contemporary theatre festival Desire Central Station, which has earned it a prominent position in the cultural life of the region. Through András Urbán’s ensemble and within the theatre, the theatre is a permanent coproduction partner of the Association MASZK from Szeged.
“(...) Six people’s silhouettes on brown paper. What we are going to fill them with is up to us alone. This scene foretells that much in this play will depend on the openness of the audience, as well as on their readiness to forget the classic way of watching a play and allow to be mildly, and perhaps in a slightly strange way, tight into a loop by the play.”