Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

National Productions | 2010, November 5

Cyber Cyrano

by István Tasnádi

Based on a true story, with devastating consequences. An isolated schoolgirl (Zsuzsi) is secretly in love with one of her classmates (Máté), who
treats her quite badly. When a new girl (Heni) joins the class, Máté soon falls for her, making Zsuzsi’s case even more hopeless. In response,
Zsuzsi creates some characters on a social networking site, which her classmates believe to be real. First she creates a boy, ‘Viktor’, the son of a
diplomat, who lives abroad, spending his time sailing and horse-riding. She introduces Heni to Viktor (virtually, of course) and Heni falls in love
with this glamorous boy who always tells Heni what Heni wants to hear.
Instead of Máté losing interest in Heni (as Zsuzsi had intended), he becomes very jealous of Viktor. So Zsuzsi creates another character, this
time an exotic girl – Viktor’s ‘sister’, Moira. Máté immediately shifts his attentions to Moira. From that moment on, Zsuzsi is in control of both
Máté and Heni’s love relationships, a puppeteer pulling the strings, influencing their feelings.
Months pass, and it is no longer possible to avoid a real meeting between the lovers. Operating behind her two characters, Zsuzsi creates the
illusion of a grand ball – Viktor’s 18th birthday party – for which Heni and Máté will have to learn to waltz and wear fine clothes. The evening
of the party finally arrives. The three – Zsuzsi, Heni and Máté – wait outside for the limousine which will take them to the castle. Of course, the
limousine never comes.
Trapped now in a fiction of her own creation, Zsuzsi tries to finish it by ‘killing off’ Viktor in a tragic horse-riding accident. Máté begins to
suspect something, and confronts Zsuzsi. The realization that it was Zsuzsi all along devastates Heni, who cannot come to terms with the fact
that the boy she was so in love with never existed. She has a nervous breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Zsuzsi is expelled and starts in a
new school where she observes her new classmates. The play finishes with Zsuzsi thinking about which new characters she might now create…


Director György Vidovszky
Scenography Anita Sárosi, Viktor Vicsek
Music András Monori
Performers Anna Nemes, Zsolt Dér, Lili Varga

The best place

Critic of Cyber Cyrano written by Andrea Tompa

If it would be possible I would clone this performance. If I would be a maintainer I would support it hundred times more.

In the time of the plastic surgery it must be re-thinked what the huge nose of Cyrano could mean on the stage and in the life. There are always people who thinks themselves ugly, unfortunate, unloveable and this is more interesting than a big nose or the appearances from which the new gods can bring out anything.
In this performance our future Cyrano is a girl who is not an ugly but more like a beautifull lady subsists inside her own uglyness and unloveableness.
The emphasis is on the right place: in that inside space which could be more hardly corrected, where surgery scalpels can not ever reach. And that the Cyrano-like mail sending incognito today when everybody is online obviously will be in a cyber space – this is also in the best place. Because we can feel that this enters our personal space every time when we bend over our computers. Those who have never had conflict on internet by a person who stay in incognito are lucky. People can often feel that authors who use countless community sites, public but still belived to be secret blogs are not aware of the life-like of their games and the power which can shape and destroy lifes.
The Cyber Cyrano goes around these appearances which can roughly surmount real life.
The „ugly” girl makes herself loved by her classmates with a roleplay on internet. One of them is her rival and friend, the other one could be her love. She starts to speak about how someone fall in love with the diplomat child who lives in Switzerland, sailing and riding a horse and having clairvoyance or with a dreamgirl who has perfect, exotic and common face. But the performance overcomes the appearances with its precision, acting justice, internal human charge. This is an exceptionally talented production. It doesn’t consists of cliches and didactic truths but sharp positions, excellent, authentic actors. György Vidovszky director and his team have created the performance.
Bracket: searching on the web for the title of Cyber Cyrano the first hit is not the performance but a dating site from where we can navigate to a site: „ Do you want to be a dream women or a mat?” As I’m watching the profile photo of my youngster acquaintances: everybody want to be the previous but feel like the mat. Simply this is the story of the performance.
Our heroine Anna Nemes is deep, rough and true in her every motions. This girl lives in her closed, depressive internal world and she is not able to look out and see herself. The problem becomes exciting already with the choise of actress. She shows just the surface of herself, hiding her deepness but maybe at the end of the preformance opens a door to present the demon who lives inside her. Her classmates (Zsolt Dér, Lili Varga) bring more superficial characters because they will fall in love with the appearances but within these frames they are proper, real youngsters. They have humor, plenty of brutality and they have secrets. I don’t expect more from an actor. I note that it would be easy to play their naturality and viridity off against the professional actors, we don’t do it.
How these youngsters desire the relationships that they are not able to realize in life Vidovszky let us see in the waltz scene which is on the verge of chatarsis. This scene is about the possibility which is over there but when they are practising the duett for the school party none of them dare to give him/herself at all. It’s like everybody have fear for the reality. This is why everything become rough. „If I friend you, will you confirm?” asking from each other as they are afraid of the refusal even in the virtual world. The work of the visual designers (Anita Sárosi, Viktor Vicsek) is also exceptionally: innovative, smart, playful.
The play was written by István Tasnádi who is one of our few playwrights – suddenly I wouldn’t know whom to side with him because there is no one similar to him – whose plays serve theater. He is not a playwright for its own sake but a creator who is thinking in theater and able to co-operate with it. He knows – uniquely – how to write for a certain age-group. His sentences are punctual, he knows the language of the youngsters, how they write, he listens to their voices, sees their world ( I mean our world).and he knows how to build a story, how to write a situation. There are a huge lack of these dramas and this kind of theaters in Hungary. If it would be possible I would clone this performance. If I would be a maintainer I would support it hundred times more. We shouldn’t sit in a cellar or we should because we need the intimacy but we need this kind of theater in every spot of the country, in every district of Budapest, every single day in every high school. The youngsters are dreaming about the same yacht, the same perfect face everywhere. For the present we hardly can find a place and provide theater experience for those who are just getting youngster in which they can recognise themselves . But now, here – in this cellar in Andrássy street – is the best place amongst „Klamm’s War, and Hello Nazi!” the other great productions of Kolibri.