Balázs Szálinger szin
Balázs Szálinger has been aiming to include the poetic tradition in a modernised form in his work from the very beginning of his writing career. He first approached this by taking on the form of the epos, following in the footsteps of such Hungarian greats as Vörösmarty and Madách. Then in 2008 he wrote “Kalevala”, his first play in verse that won the Vilmos Prize for Best New Play and also earned him the Ernő Szép Prize for Best New Playwright. His dramatic works have kept theatremakers, readers and audiences interested ever since. He is also a prolific poet and prose writer.
Republic (8 m, 4 f)
Republic is one of Szálinger’s most exciting plays, mixing history and modernity, as well as the suspense of a clever political thriller and a crime story.
Republic tells us the story of young Gaius, a roman patrician, a senator at the age of 25, who falls into the hands of pirates on the Mediterranean and is taken for ransom. He is no ordinary man: you’ll read about him in the history books by the name of Julius Caesar…
The island and the band of pirates is controlled and lead by Haristeas, a Roman citizen himself, a freed slave, who took it upon himself to create a republic for the pirates: a sharing state that keeps everyone happy, asigning tasks to each that they do well in.
Sounds ideal, were it not for the plight seduction brings. The brilliant young Roman seduces Haristeas intellectually and he soon invites him to be his deputy and heir to the band of pirates, leaving his (former) second-in-command, Arianes in limbo. And Sophia, Haristeas’ teenage daughter is in turn seduced – in the literal sense - by the Hispanian cook, Miró, creating another set of problems for Arianes to deal with.
While Gaius gains Haristeas’ trust, Arianes, not to lose the same, takes Miró out of the kitchen and onto a fighting ship, hoping he’ll die and take the problems with himself to the grave, while the Nanny convinces Sophia that Miró had a mistress.
In the meantime Gaius’ freed slave, Cirrus is busy following his boss’ orders: gathering money – a lot more than the actual ransom – and ships, to fight the pirates.
After a month passes, there’s a whole new situation: Gaius is set for deputy, having learned all he could from Haristeas. Aristeas returns from his endeavours with one ship less then he set out with and a lot of wounded: Miró being one of them. The game is up, Haristeas, who wanted to secure Gaius’ position in the pirate community by marrying his daughter off to him, is now embarrassed by the “damaged goods” as Sophia declares her love and affection for the dying Miró after she killed Delea, who she suspected was Miró’s lover.
Cirrus returns with the ransom and as Gaius decides to leave, and not take his place among the pirates’ ranks, it all seems an amicable business deal. But once Gaius is off the island, his plan for revenge is set in motion: nobody can survive to tell the nature of his connections to the pirates, least of all the father-figure Haristeas. Enlisting the help of a proprietor, he enslaves the group. Their execution is inevitable. Then off he goes, off to Rome and eternity!