The Impostor

(1983. Comedy in 3 acts, prose. Characters: 13 men, 5 women)

 In the theatre small town of Vilna actors are preparing for the staging of Tartuffe. But the actor giant playing the main role, Boguslawski did not arrive yet, so the performance is in danger. The stage hands are already working, when an unknown men arrived. One of the actors arriving to the rehearsal recognizes the Master, who is surprised to find out that they will not be performing his opera, yet he was not given notice. The manager tries to defend himself by saying that the work of the Master had been banned everywhere, so he cannot put his theatre at risk, which is subject to the Russian power. Boguslawski will only accept to do the guest performance following a long attempt to convince him. The only request of the manager is for the Master to shake hands with the Tsar’s Governor in the audience, which he refuses to do. The rehearsal starts and, in the last scene, Boguslawski is amazed to see that the Tsar’s portrait had been painted on the backdrop instead the portrait of Louis XIV, and actors have to bend the knee in front of it. The Governor shows up in the intermission, praising Boguslawski’s acting. The Governor also agrees to pay the long-promised subsidy to the theatre. The actors have no clue about Boguslawski’s plan for the ending. He tried to denigrate in front of the Governor the young actor Ryback, playing the king’s envoy, claiming that he was preparing an attempt, planning to slash the tsar’s portrait. The play goes on, but the audience keeps waiting for Ryback in vain, as he does not show up, instead Boguslawski improvises a witty monologue about performance and power, ridiculing the Governor and the tsar.



He graduated from ELTE in Hungarian, Russian Serbo-Croatian and also studied sociology afterwards. After graduation he started to work at the Hungarian Radio as a journalist, later choosing to teach as an Associate Lecturer at ELTE’s Institute of Arts Theory and Research. He constantly publishes poems, short stories, novels, plays, academic articles. His first works for the stage were history plays, which dissected the rational model of history. Later he became more interested in the problems of his own times and society. He worked as a dramaturge at the National Theatre and the Csiky Gergely Theatre in Kaposvár. As a director he spent three years in the managerial seat of the Szigligeti Színház in Szolnok. In 2005 he received the Kossuth Prize.