HAMVAI, KORNÉL – HÓHÉROK HAVA

HAMVAI, KORNÉL – HÓHÉROK HAVA

 

Headsman’s Holiday

 (2000. Play in 2 parts, prose. Characters: 40 men, 16 women)

We are in June, 1794, the heydays of the Jacobin dictatorship. The French public is under the spell of public executions. The populace flooding the streets sees the falling heads as a theatrical spectacle, executioners are indispensible. One of them is the illiterate and godfearing Jean-Pierre Roch, living in the town of Longwy, content with his life, until he receives a letter about him being relocated to Feurs. His wife is proud of him, but Roch is reluctant to leave the city and his family. Moreover, he first has to travel to Paris to pick up his documents and some advancement at the public administration office. When he arrives to the capital, he is subject to a series of misadventures. The small, concise scenes linked in a chain-like fashion present with grotesque humour the bizarre characters and events of a society which had lost its grounds.  

He was born on 12 July 1969 in Budapest. He is a defining member of the Hungarian contemporary theatre and literature, holder of several awards. He has a degree in English literature, having spent a year at Oxford. He started as a novelist with his first novel titled Linesman Márton Feels Cold, published at the age of 26. His debut as a playwright brought him the main prize of the contest for plays for the anniversary of the 1956 revolution, in 2006. Since then, he has been constantly writing plays. The main characteristic of his writing is a very specific use of language, which a clever blend of colloquial and literary language. Concise exchanges, puns on words, a specific irony and view of history are trademarks of his dramatic language. He adapted the plays of many international authors, like Caryl Churchill, Martin McDonagh, Tom Stoppard, Brian Friel, and his translations of prose are also notable.