Translated by Imre Kertész
Directed by Zoltán Balázs
In 2021, the Maladype Theatre will present a production based on Tankred Dorst: Merlin or the Waste Land, directed by Zoltán Balázs.
Published in 1981, the work, in which T. Dorst adapts the Arthurian cycle and the legend of the Knights of Camelot from an original perspective, is an outstanding achievement of epic drama. Based on a specific dramaturgy, the structure consists of ninety-six scenes that are extremely diverse in terms of genre. The author boldly combines the dialogue and narrative parts with “hommage-like” quoted guest texts from the works of W. Rowley, M. Twain, W. Eschenbach, P. Calderon, T. S. Eliot, and F. Hölderlin.
The grandiose story dreamed up by one of the most remarkable German playwrights of the 20th century, set in early medieval England, begins with the birth of the intricately controversial protagonist. Merlin is a popular wizard of Celtic mythology, the Devil’s child, whom his father conceived as a human-like creature, so that he would be able to please his will and unleash the genuine nature of men: inherent evil. However, Merlin does not want to obey and in order to outbrave his father’s satanic plan, creates an alternative world order based on the principles of peace, equality and justice: the conception of the Round Table, which in Dorst’s story will be accomplished by the young King Arthur.
The award-winning author recounts the stories of the initiation of the Round Table, the love triangle of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, the young Parzival’s search for God, and Arthur’s illegitimate child’s, Sir Mordred, from an exceptionally present-day perspective, while he speaks about past, present, future and the eternal cycle of history. He scans the fallible mortal man, who often commits sin in this mad chase, while at the same time is hunger for forgiveness, love, and desires to cling to something as God, or the ordinary happiness in everyday life, or in a sublime idea, that will lead him to the right path while gradually reveals his dual nature to him over time.
The central question of the play, that overarches the ages: will man ever be able to create an ideal, harmonious society? Or will history give its winning cards to the devil?
Literary adviser: Zsuzsanna Juraszek
Set design: Zoltán Balázs
Costumes: Anikó Németh
Leader of music: Brigitta Erőss
Scenic: János Katona Koós
Creative producer: Sylvia Huszár
Production manager: Katalin Balázs
Opening night: June 25, 2021, Castle Theatre, Kisvárda
Performance by Maladype Theatre, coproduction with Castle Theatre and Community Center, Kisvárda
Thanks for the cooperation to Éva Duda Company
With the support of EMMI, NKA, Goethe Institue, Imre Kertész Institute