SCHWAJDA, GYÖRGY - HIMNUSZ
(1980. Comedy in one act. Characters: 6 men, 2 women)
Józsi drinks himself into oblivion every day after work, goes home around midnight, wakes the kids and wife up and makes them sing the Anthem together. The next day he never remembers a thing. Aranka, his wife, is sympathetic. But one day the inhabitants of the house file a complaint against them. Józsi is happy for the intervention of his neighbours. He truly hopes to be able to change one day. The next day he finds out the during the preceding night he was shouting the Anthem in the middle of the courtyard, wishing ‘happy killing’ to everybody. He was angry because the comrade from the Red Cross teetotal programme fined him. The next morning he wakes up with a sore leg due to the kicking of his wife. Even Józsi’s workpace shows some support: they have lowered his salary. Members of the work brigade arrive to their place to help with the cleanup, as a social service, but they get real drunk instead. Józsi gets arrested by police. Aranka was beaten unconscious by the members of the brigade. The other day the kitchen was in ruins. Józsi threw a fit the other night, breaking stuff, because the TV reported their misery. A social worker arrives and takes the three kids in state custody. The next evening Józsi pays all the people a visit who had helped him and strangles them out of pure gratitude. He gets home early in the morning but it is still too early to go to the police station. Aranka’s suggestion is for them to sing the Anthem a final time.
György SCHWAJDA (1943-2010)
He is a very colourful theatre personality. As a young man was employed as a physical worker and later studied playwriting from Miklós Gyárfás at the academy. He worked as a dramaturge in different theatres in the provinces, was the manager of the Szigligeti Színház in Szolnok (two times) and artistic director of the Művész Színház. Next to his original plays his adaptations are also notable: he wrote the stage version of Hundred Years of Loneliness by Marquez, Wuthering Heights by Brontë and numerous tales. He also worked as a director several times – not only his own plays. In his works he analyzes social injustice, exposing many real-life problems. Mostly workers populate his naturalist environment, fallen people who would otherwise definitely deserve more, but fall prey to grotesque and absurd events. He shows the helplessness and hopelessness of the working class, the insolvable nature of their problems, with both sympathy and critical edge. His major works include Mesebeli János (1972), Mari (1974), The Miracle (1975), Anthem (1980), The Holy Family (1981), Our Father (1995).