directed by Kornél Mundruczó / Proton Theatre
performed by Lili Monori, Roland Rába, Annamária Láng, Zsombor Jéger, Dáriusz Kozma
set Márton Ágh
costumes Márton Ágh, Melinda Domán
light András Éltető
written by Kata Wéber
music Asher Goldschmidt
assistant director Anna Fehér
artistic director Kornél Mundruczó
producer Dóra Büki
production manager Zsófia Csató
coproducers Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, Austria; Theater Oberhausen, Germany; La Rose Des Vents, Lille, France; Maillon, Théâtre De Strasbourg / Scène Européenne, France; Trafó House Of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, Hungary; Hau Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, Germany; Hellerau – European Center For The Arts, Dresden, Germany; Wiesbaden Biennale, Germany
lenght 1 hour and 40 minutes
in Hungarian with English subtitles
Hungarian master of theatre and film (White God) and artistic director of Proton Theatre, Kornél Mundruczó, raises a crucial question: can we control our fate or is it set in stone?
A boy grows up in a Roma family, but he doesn’t look like them – his skin color is different. The denial of his origins weighs on his childhood. He tries to find a new life in the anonymity of the city, but he will not find his place. Self-hatred stifles his social integration and finally pushes him to commit a murderous act against a young Roma on a tram.
Do we choose our fates, or are our lives predestined? This is the question raised by Kornél Mundruczó following this violent crime in Budapest in 2015. His actors become the artful protagonists of a fictional story that begins when a process server arrives to evict a single woman from her Budapest flat. An unexpected twist prevents him from carrying out his plan, and he is forced to examine his own conscience. In the meantime, it becomes clear that the derelict flat hides dark secrets that new tenants will have to face. Imitation of Life is a lucid look at the contradictions of a society, both in Hungary and beyond, where all forms of discrimination prevail on a daily basis.
Since Hard to be a God, which was also a production of Kornél Mundruczó Hungarian Company Proton Theatre, was shown at the Alkantara Festival in 2010, Hungarian theatre director and filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó has become a prominent voice in contemporary European theatre and cinema with films such as White God, Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project, Delta and Jupiter’s Moon.
Proton Theatre, biography
In 2009, Kornél Mundruczó, film and theatre director, and Dóra Büki, theatre producer, founded Proton Theatre, a virtual artistic company organised around the director’s independent productions. Besides preserving maximum artistic freedom, their goal is ensure a professional structure for their independently produced theatre plays and projects. Chiefly, their performances are realized as international co-productions, and their frequent collaborators include the Wiener Festwochen; HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels; Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest; HELLERAU, Dresden.
Besides productions directed by the artistic leader – namely, The Ice (2006); Frankenstein Project (2007); Hard to be a God (2010); Disgrace (2012); Dementia (2013); Winterreise (2015); Imitation of Life (2016) – they wish to provide space for the realisation of the company members’ ideas. In this spirit the following performances were created: Last, directed by Roland Rába (2014), 1 Link, directed by Gergely Bánki (2015) and Finding Quincy, directed by János Szemenyei (2017).
The performances of the Proton Theatre have been touring to more than 100 festivals during these years, from Festival d’Avignon through Adelaide Festival to Singapore International Festival, Seoul Bo:m Festival or the Züricher Theaterspektakel.