19 January 2013
Machiavelli’s the Mandrake was written five centuries ago. Back then the play was enormously bold with it’s critiques of society, morality and character of the times. It is not a surprise then that János Háy decided to re-write and further develop this play: it’s controversial nature, it’s ideal mixture of love and intrigue allows Machiavelli’s play to pose questions to a contemporary audience as well. Machiavelli’s and Háy’s narratives are almost the same, both spring from the fountain of classical comedic styles, uses their well-developed tools, characters and plot twists. The main difference between the two is the language used. Háy makes Machiavelli’s play all the more contemporary with risqué style and references. The change of place is also an interesting choice: instead of Florence, the plot takes places in the Wild West. The scene is an alienated town in the middle of nowhere far from all God’s creatures, where aside from the regular gunshot sounds, a few lynchings here and there, barely anything ever happens. Into this dustbowl does Callimaco return who in his youth searched for the one and only, untouched Love in mundane and large cities frolicking around the skirts of many dubious women. The aim of his desires this time is Lucrecia, the Wild West’s maybe only innocent and untouched woman. From the desire of Callimaco, the desire for the unattainable, springs this plot of chicanery and goes through many loops of intrigues, bribes, lies, frauds into the dubious final moments in order for a pint of Mandrake brew put an end to it all.
Apostolache Kiss Zénó
Set and costume design: Damokos Csaba
Directed by: Kövesdy István