Csaba Székely sin
10 by Csaba Székely
The play is inspired by the biblical ten commandments, but it observes everyday people who face contemporary dilemmas and try to get through life on their own. The play introduces ten characters (5 male and 5 female) whose lives are interwoven, and each character’s moral decision has a serious effect on the next character’s life.
The 10 scenes follow the single commandments, and the characters are indicated with Roman numbers.
Scene 1 / First Commandment:
I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me
Iis a car mechanic. He is unexpectedly visited by her mother (X), who left him when he was fourteen. They are happy to see each other again. The mother is ill, she has cancer. I tells his colleague (VIII), that she could probably be cured by a very expensive treatment offered by a Swiss hospital, which costs ten million forints, but it seems impossible for him to put all that money together. They start playing at a slot machine. First he hesitates, but he risks more and more money, and then, after a series of very lucky rounds he wins 14 million forints. By the time he gets home, his mother has died. He takes the money with himself to work, where he hides it behind one of the front seats of a Peugeot to be repaired. A few minutes later he is shocked to see that the car has been taken away by its owner, with all the money in it.
Scene 2 / Second Commandment:
You shall not make for yourself a carved image
IIis obsessed with the thought of being ugly. His father cannot even look at him after his birth, he cannot forgive him the fact that his wife, II's mother, died at childbirth. Also II's father dies during II's childhood. He is mocked at school, and his love is always refused by the girls. He is convinced that the reason is always his ugliness. He wants to be loved. He collects some money to be able to undergo a series of plastic surgeries to become nicer. One day he takes his car from the mechanic – and finds a huge amount of money behind one of the seats. All confused and excited, he gets on a train. He gets off at a dark station during the night, where he meets a terribly-looking whore (III), who calls him “nice guy”. He wants to marry her.
Scene 3. / Third Commandment:
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
IIIgrew up in a suburb called Hope, in a huge block of flats. His father was put into prison, after which her uncle moved to their apartment, to take care of her and her mother. After a while the uncle starts molesting III, he regularly rapes her. When III's mother finds it out, she forbids III to tell anyone about it, in order not to bring shame on the family. V, who loves III, saves her from his uncle by killing him. Her mother, all desperate of having to find another man, throws her out on the streets. She swears to God that she will kill her mother one day. She escapes with V to another country. They find shelter at an elderly woman's house and seem to love each other, but after a while V starts prostituting her, forcing her to earn money for both of them. First she desperately hates this situation, then she gets used to it. V disappears, and she remains a prostitute for many years to come. She often suffers from migraine, and is treated by a female doctor (IV), who gets more and more impatient by her visits. Then III meets II, who tells her that he wants to marry her. She has migraine again, II takes her to the doctor.
Scene 4 / Fourth Commandment:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
The story of IV, the workaholic female doctor follows. She has thought only of her career since her youth. She married a Protestant priest (VIII), but their marriage is not a particularly happy one. They have a son, but she does not take care of him; he is brought up by the grandparents in the suburb called Hope. VIII has stolen money from his church, so, as a punishment, he has to work at a very small village, far from the city where his wife works. When he returns home, he blames her of not having answered his letters, in which he asked for money. She says she never got those letters. They get divorced. She does not regret it, saying that in this way she will have more time to dedicate to her work. She only has occasional love relationships. One day she meets I, they end up in IV's apartment. III knocks on the door, she complains about her terrible migraine. IV gets irritated and sends her away. When seeing IV's behavior, I leaves her, too. II takes III to her to the hospital, but IV refuses to treat her case as an emergency. III dies. II denounces IV. She leaves the hospital, she gives up all her goals regarding her career. She learns from his ex-husband that their son is in Afghanistan. She decides to become a surgeon in the army, and find him in Afghanistan.
Scene 5 / Fifth Commandment:
Honor your father and your mother
Vand IV meet in Afghanistan. She treats him with a serious injury, and sends him back to his home country. He meets her girlfriend (VI), but he is not able to make love with her. He wants to go back to the army in Afghanistan. One day he finds out that his true parents are alive: his father calls him and tells him about her mother who has become a surgeon in the army and wants to find him. V understands who IV is, but he cannot love her.
Scene 6 / Sixth Commandment:
You shall not kill
The story of VI, X's daughter. She got to know V at the hospital where she takes her mother (X), who hadfainted. V is still together with III, the prostitute, but he soon starts going out with VI, too. V leaves for Afghanistan, then comes home, but then goes back again. Before he leaves, she convinces him to make love with her, and she gets pregnant. She cannot decide whether to have an abortion or not. Her mother wants her to kill some new-born cats, which she cannot do. So she understands that she had better not to have the abortion. But then she learns that her love died: not being able to overcome the horrors of the war, he has killed both his mother and himself. All desperate, she kills the cats.
Scene 7 / Seventh Commandment:
You shall not commit adultery
VII also grew up in the suburb called Hope, then she became a shop assistant at the local grocery store. One day IX, a plastic surgeon went into the grocery store to buy something, and all of a sudden he asked her to marry him. She said yes. They live happily – until she discovers, thanks to the stories of a friend of hers (VI), that she has never enjoyed having sex with her husband, who wants to have a child very much. She loves him, but she has never experienced sexual joy with him. One day an old friend of the husband, who has just been released from prison (VIII) visits them. VII and VIII start feeling an inextinguishable sexual desire towards each other, and start meeting to have sex. VII happily tells her husband (IX) that she is pregnant.
Scene 8 / Eighth Commandment:
You shall not steal
VIIIstarted out as a priest, after being victim of sexual harassment in his childhood, committed by a priest. He wanted to help his friend, IX, to save his parents, so he gave him the money of his church, but he was soon found guilty and sent in a small village, where he committed another crime, and he was sent into prison. After he was released, he committed a series of other crimes, and he always ended up in prison. Finally he became a car mechanic. He went to see his friend, IX, and fell in love with his wife (VII). He made her pregnant, now she is expecting their twins, but he cannot provide her any proper circumstances. He suggests her that she should stay with her husband until the children are born. The husband is furious, and accuses him of having stolen his children whom he should have had, and also his Rolex watch, which he previously gave him as a present. So VIII ends up in prison again.
Scene 9 / Ninth commandment:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
IX'sfirst wife was X, they met each other under a willow tree. Their marriage soon became a nightmare, and he left her and their small children (I and VI). Thanks to the money that his friend, VIII gave to him, he managed to start a new life, he went to study in Norway and became a plastic surgeon. He met VII, loved her desperately, always being conscious of the danger of losing her. When he learns that it was VIII and not himself who made VII pregnant, he becomes furious, and makes a series of false accusations against him, pretending that he stole his Rolex watch and wanted to poison him. His revenge is fulfilled, VIII goes to prison. VII gets together with one of his patients, II, and IX remains completely alone. He meets his son, I, under the willow tree, and asks him whether he wants to live with him.
Scene 10 / Tenth Commandment:
You shall not covet
Xis an artist, a painter, who is inspired by the variuos coulours that she sees around people, which change according to their emotions. After her divorce from her first husband, IX, she lives in a small village with her children, I and VI. She loves her daughter, but gets rid of his son when he is 14, by sending him to another place to study. Quite unexpectedly, his ex-husband (IX) and his new wife (VII) move to the same village. The two women, IX's ex and present wife, X and VII, fall in love with each other. X's daughter, VI soon discovers their relationship, and they break up. In the meantime VI becomes pregnant, and when X understands who the baby's father is, she tells her daughter and us the last horrifying story of the play: some twenty years ago, she illegally accepted to become the surrogate mother of a baby. When he was born, and should have been given to his parents, they died in a car accident on their way to the hospital. X, who did not want to keep the boy, with the help of a nurse gave it to IV and VIII, whose baby died but they were not informed about it yet. They never discovered the exchange of the two babies. X tells her daughter, VI, that she cannot keep her baby, because the baby's father, V, who already died in Afghanistan, is VII's brother. Scene 1, X's visit to her son, I, takes place after this episode; the circle of tragedies closes.