In Budapest, spring is greeted through culture. Having reached its 14th edition, the Budapest Spring Festival is one of the most important artistic events in Hungary, assembling (for early a month) concerts, performances, exhibitions, films and... tourists.
The first edition of the Madach International Theatre Meeting (26 March - 7 April) has enriched its programme with two weeks of performances by renowned theatres, debates, conferences and meetings with some of the most important artists present in Budapest. The "special guest" of this first edition is the Russian theatre.
The 3rd of April was exclusively dedicated to the theatre in Romania. Two performances of "Two Lottery Tickets" were scheduled. The play, based on I.L. Caragiale's short story, was directed by Alexandru Dabija, with scenography by Helmut Stürmer. A debate was scheduled between the two performances. Moderated by Kulcsár Edit (an enthusiastic promoter of Romanian culture in Hungary), the debate's main themes were the international success of Romanian artists, the paradoxical nature and the "secrets" of Romanian theatre. Matei Vişniec, Alexandru Dabija and Helmut Stürmer guided the audience on the atypical route
of a story about the meaning of recognition both in Romania and abroad, punctuated with examples and confessions from their personal experiences. In Budapest, on 3 April 2014, all discussion pendulated between the national, eternally untranslatable Caragiale and the international, always recognisable Ionesco.
"The «Two Lottery Tickets» production stepped in with a demonstration that is very rarely seen on stage: through his directorial vision, Dabija explained Caragiale in all languages," declared a theatre critic from the Republic of Serbia. The audience had the same reaction to the two representations. The actors' performance, the energy of the production, the packed auditoriums, the reaction to detail of the audience, the applause, the enthusiasm of the theatre people (...or the surprise of encountering a different Caragiale, one whom they had
never experienced in this expressionistic, visual, tragic manner), all of these aspects ensured that the presence of the National Theatre in Bucharest at the Madach International Theatre Meeting was a success.
Mr. Alexandru Victor Micula, the Ambassador of Romania in Budapest, and Ms. Gabriela Matei, the director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest, both attended the performance.
Translated by Diana-Crezante Raicev
MTTLC, University of Bucharest