The director’s thoughts were expressed by the rich details, by the combination of precise choreographic positioning with dance and by the loads of acting tasks distributed within a very short period of time, thus requiring an enormously high level of attention and concentration by the actors. This pace on the stage would have probably hindered communication between actors and audience had it not been for the actors’ physical preparedness, their precision in the execution of acting tasks, their ease at playing authentically, while the space, situations and partners changed with an unbelievable rapidity. The actors both individually and collectively succeeded in realizing the director’s delicate threading in performance and precise dramatic interpretation. The dynamism of this performance is created by the dynamics of Kafka’s nightmares. Hysterically changing situations, the backwardness of bureaucracy and the hedonism of the erotically presented cabaret may metamorphose into a nightmare, Kafka’s absurd persecution mania.
M.L., Nezavisne Novine Banja Luka
The Hungarian theatre’s performance was fantastic – agreed the participants of the round table held yesterday in Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo. With the same assertion did theatrical critics, theoreticians, journalists, students of the College of Dramatic Arts and majors of the Literature Faculty in Sarajevo come to share the position of the festival audience. (…)
After the end of the performance, Kristo Bojcev, a famous Bulgarian director and playwright was so dazzled by the production that he said: “When I get home, I’ll tear up all my plays.” “I am lucky,” he continued “since I had already seen a few performances by the Katona József Theater and not only this year in Sarajevo. They were different in their style, but all of them can be said to have been outstanding.
A perfect dramatic effect is observable in this performance even where it is difficult to be translated into the language of the stage and create a parody out of it. (…)
Spiros Payatakis, a Greek participant, called up his fellow critics to compare the atmosphere of this performance to one of the movies by Orson Welles, and Tamás Keresztes to Anthony Perkins, since in his opinion the Hungarian troupe is better than the famous movie magician was.
Mr. Sekulic, Oslobodenje
On the basis of audience votes, the performance Rattledanddisappeared by the Hungarian Katona József Theater is “on top” even in spite of the fact that it has been performed to a rather small audience. The reputation of the Hungarian performance went around quickly in the groves of the festival. The Hungarians – who carried off the “Golden Laurel Wreath” for the best performance with the production “Ivanov” last year – have won the favours of the festival audience this year as well, owing to the merits of the young, ingenious director Viktor Bodó. Bodó drew upon Kafka’s The Trial for his story and created a three hour performance that induced the longest round of applause in the auditorium so far.
Mr. Sekulic, Oslobodenje
Rattledanddisappeared” is barbarically vivid pastiche with deep meaning and East-European Jewish humour… An innocent Joseph K. wanders among the spooky and obscene figures – all acted out in a very interesting way by the actors of the company -, on the edge of the world. This East-European joke compensated me for all the other performances of the Festival, with its professionalism, its sensitiveness and its harshness.
Ruth Heynen, Rheinische Post
Rattledanddisappeared is based upon Kafka’s The Trial but it is original and modern, as well. Josef K., arrested innocently, is fighting with the depressing and unfair world and hopelessly trying to influence his destiny. However, the performance is built upon the images mostly, not the text. The actors from Budapest are pressing wild, erotic and comic visions that we have to stand. Parodic figures and dizzying slapsticks centre Kafka’s special humour. At the beginning of the production the missing of traditional dramaturgy is strange but getting used to the rhythm, the audience take pleasure in the scenes. Finally we find a deeper meaning: laughter is the only thing that could help us in getting on in cruel and incomprehensible life.”
Jussi Suvanto, Aamulehti
Someone must still be spreading lies about Josef K. The hero of Franz Kafka's disturbingly absurd novel The Trial, arrested one morning without reason then shunted helplessly through a labyrinth of an anonymous oppressor, has now become a bewildered star of the stage.
Rattledanddisappeared is a faithful adaptation of the book by Hungarian theatre company Katona József – faithful insofar as it too is an alternatively exhilarating and stultifying experience, augmented with an abundance of show tunes and Bob Fosse-style choreography. Limiting the playing space to an impossibly narrow and endlessly deep corridor (designed by Levente Bagossy), the production swirls with claustrophobia, paranoia and mania.(...) „Procedures are under way,” Tamás Keresztes's Josef is instructed early on, having already lost the shirt off his back, „you will learn everything.” For both hero and audience, of course, this is a barefaced lie.(...) Bodó's adaptation, written with András Vinnai, does not, then, represent a subversive stab at the ideological constraints of Hungary's communist past, but rather spins into a delighted anarchy where theatre itself seems to be on the brink of collapse.(...)
A deliriously entertaining curtain call goes some way to letting us part on good terms, but when the shadowy powers-to-be finally emerge from all the pandemonium, commanding „all citizens must get calmed down”, a totalitarian nightmare has never had this much of reason.
Peter Crawley, The Irish Times
The title of the play is at the same time the central idea, that combines in a bizarre and unreadable form- and this is what best describes the performance- a mixture of everything, rich in visuals and symbolic ideas. One would have a hard time giving a title to this show because it plays with the history of modern politics and with the versatile forms of contemporary theatre. The combination of these creates a so to say „fascist cabaret” from Franz Kafka’s work. A slightly schizophrenic description of Kafka’s work projects a bizarre, symbolic, realistic play. (…)
The director and the actors have achieved that in spite of all the moralizing they can show our modern world’s character in a literary form to such an extent that the performance’s visuality completely engages the spectator. Let’s return to the Latin maxims, the name, which cannot be pronounced is a sign indeed. The sign that shows that something special and unrepeatable has happened. This is why the BITEF is here, so that we see what we miss or how many things we can still see and create.
The performance is inspiring, shocking, witty, grotesque, and depressing in the best, Brechtian sense. A great performance, with excellent actors who know everything starting from the smallest movement and mime, the grotesquely provocative brutality to the light grotesque cabaret. The endlessly long, dark, shabby set augments the end of the world-feeling of the play, where everyone becomes a spectator of the events. The music, the dance, the songs... all appear with convincing talent in the scenes that follow each other incredibly quickly. It is a great loss for the theatre-goers that the Hungarian Katona Jozsef Theatre was our guest for only two days.
Ann-Mary Betzy Arnesen Morelle