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February, 5-10. 2013.

Being at the City of Miskolc, it is impossible not to stop for a  while to mention the illustrious dramatic actress, (Jókainé) Laborfalvi Róza (+November,20.1886.) who played on the stage of the National Theater Miskolc. She was the wife of Mr. Mór Jókai, the Hungarian realist theater pioneer, who himself entered the Hungarian theater history. The platitude is so true in the case of Ms. Jókainé Laborfalvi Róza, that „behind every successful man is a woman.” The only difference is that the “great Hungarian storytelling, the well-known writer was behind and next to her husband as a successful actress.

At her apex of glory in 1883, celebrating her artistic career 50 years jubilee  granted by the National Theater Miskolc, played her old-time favorite role of Volumnia in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. The entire audience was present in full gala, as the presence of the King in person, I Franz Joseph personally crowned her by a golden cross on merit.4

On the occasion of the opening of the National Theater  Miskolc, September, 3. 1857., Mór Jókai held the opening speech and Róza Laborfalvi played as a guest actress. Ms. Laborfalvi retired from the stage in 1859 until  then she was most dominant drama actress in the house.

After skipping back in time, now wish to pull the attention to the “SZEM” = “EYE” … FESTIVAL  brought  in the frame with updates from inside the historical walls at the National Theater Miskolc.


The 1st International University and College Theater Festival at the National Theater Miskolc

February, 5-10. 2013.

Hundered theater artists from Six European countries!

Mr. Csaba Kiss, Director National Theater Miskolc, opened the festival  saying why the festival is called SZEM? … (stands for EYE in Hungarian language) … „I believe  in the moment … a good conversation, a good meeting and the as „SZEM” –  EYE  sees, feels … it is about Confidence, Curiosity, Openness and Honesty. This is why the SZEM – EYE is represented on the festival’s flag,  it is important in terms of expression, because we feel, we are living in a very lean year in finding curiosity, openness an contacts. The  SZEM  – EYE is our first  international  festival by many reasons, just mentioning one … even though the National Theater at City of Miskolc is outside the capital of Hungary, organizing, bringing  European academic young adult artists performing with their homeland productions into our city  is unique  by itself. This evening at this 1st International  SZEM – EYE festival for what you are about to see and hear is shown by the young musical artists  member, bless with good voices from the University of Theater and Film Arts, Budapest, Hungary.  It is also rare to have a musical class with so many extremely talented singers. We would surely like to count on the group to perform at our forthcoming summer theater festival. Hope “we can work  it” ! The Director quoted an extract from Goethe’s fairy tale: „The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily… Where are you from? … The crevices  … said the snake – where the gold room. … What’s cooler than gold? … said the king. … Light – replied the snake. … What is more refreshing than light? … said the other. The conversation – was the answer”

At the end of  the director’s welcoming speech, he wished the audience not just only for this evening, but to the forthcoming 5 days performances to come along and enjoy the shows .  As he left the stage, the  lights slowly were turned into darkness. In the auditorium  softly whispering voices saying … good-night … good-night,  filled the air. When the lights were turned on again two-member of the band were on the stage  and the Beatles show began with the „Good-Night Sweetheart from the ’68 album of the Beatles. Wow … what a starter and the whole 2 hours was absolutely breathtaking… not just because of the young artist’s superb show, but each-and-every song’s lyrics were played on the stage, coming alive like the “Fool on the Hill” with excellent choreography. I bet this musical performance would be even number one in the UK, the homeland of the Beatles! The acts and the songs matched  perfectly. Sorry can’t bring  the picture but here are some titles  which were sung and played:  Sgt. Pepper, Let it be, Because, When I’m, 64, Your mother would know, Roll over Beethoven, I’ll be back , I need you, Misery, Ask me why?, Oh Darling, Something, Twist and Shout, Here comes the Sun, Fool on the Hill… oh but I mention that earlier, but many more unforgettable tunes were in the air. So this was just a sample of the jolly good tunes to come alive by the grand musical class’s show.  At the same time, seen at the show… listening to those unforgettable Beatles songs that once hit the charts  for many in the audience rang the bell of their once-upon-a-time loved songs caming alive again. Many were shaking their shoulders  and probably tapping the rhythm.   Thumbs-up for the class …well done indeed and hope this production will be on the „must see” performance in the near future throughout Hungary and abroad, because I believe these talented young adult artists from the Budapest’s  University of  Theater, will rock the stages no matter where they will be invited. The groups imagination showed their superb talent by reinterpreting the biggest BEATLES songs of the 60’s.  When the show came to the end, a storm of clapping hands fulfilled the theater hall and they were called back with nonstop applause six times to the stage.  Their success was in the air  … made many  their day, I mean  their night!  … „Happiness is a warm gun” … as the Beatles tune says … and it was all the way through. The young artist and the audience felt that warmth and happiness …  Bang … Bang … Shoot … Shoot … OH YEAH!!!

Three actors  in show are from Ms. Eszter Novák and György Selmeczi graduating class. They are spending their practical and tutorial period at the National Theater in Miskolc. They are also performing in every production brought to the stage at the National Theater  Miskolc.

Students of the musical actors’ class have had created an awesome musical theater, their full night performance on the opening  evening surely highlighted the SZEM Festival. With this production not only the musical, but the organizers of the SZEM – EYE festival really hit the high standards.

After the  first evening’s  production there was a  reception party arranged by Mr. Csaba Kiss, the director for all the participants  joining the SZEM – EYE Festival. Had a chance to ask him about how he was able to achieve  financially the background to bring it to happen this festival? A.: „Actually, this festival was low costed , because the participants are still attending their education time, therefore there was no fee involved.  Another note he added:  “Wished to organize a festival, by covering all the costs and by this way we were able to choose between the productions. There was no exclusion criteria. If you want to call someone and tell him/her that all costs will be covered by the organizers, then usually they will be available to virtually  be at any ensemble. In practice that meant, covering from our side such as the transportation, travel, boarding and lodging. The only „must” from our side  was to have them stay, share their views, learn from each others experiences. So the idea was to let them work together, be at workshops, getting acquainted with the others productions, build a relation with each other and enjoy their stay at Miskolc throughout the whole 5 days at the theater during the festival. “

Mr. Csaba Kiss also spoke about the European universities and academies saying: ” In Europe there are around 60-70 tertiary actor training institutions, universities and academies. About a half-a-year ago sent a circular letter around Europe’s institutions to see whether there is willingness and a production to bring to our festival. Requested to pass a DVD and we one-by-one  selected the  performances, thenafter  sent out our invitations to the institutions. Usually, the festivals are organized by the universities. The SZEM – EYE’s invitation was unique by itself, because a countryside National Theater  invited  Europe’s academic theater artists. This seemed to be a great opportunity to host the best theaters and their artists to participate, be together throughout  the festival’s five days. Furthermore, to work together, exchange experiences at these workshops  by staying for the time being (usually the hosted theaters and artist „lift-off ” as soon as they step down from the stage), get acquainted with the others productions, build a relation with each other and enjoy their stay at Miskolc throughout the whole 5 days at the theater during the festival. Last but not least as to remember for a long time their gain experiences at this festival and their stay at the City of Miskolc. Quoting Goethe at the opening, was … I believe and hope in the next coming five days we will admire the young professional, meet with them, have discussions, and  have a festival of openness, trust and curiosity.”

To be continued with further updates …

 Update and snaps Aggie Reiter

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris on 14/02/2013 at 05:16

    The depth of information in this report made me feel I was in attendance, excellent background material …attention to detail, and a little humour to ice the cake..Thank You….Chris

    • Dear Chris … I owe you thanks for spreading your kind thoughts. Glad to hear the update made you feel your attendance, That is one of the goals of mine, as to bring the attention of new “what’s going around” and terrific productions to be seen in Hungary. I’ll see whether they will have a link to there performances and shot you one. Tks. again… wish ya a fine day from … http://www.rollinginbudapest.com 🙂

  2. I appreciate the good work you are doing! I’ve really enjoyed reading it. You’ve arouse me a great interest. I’ll investigate it more. Keep up doing it!

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