Bertolt Brecht: Baal - reviews
Directed by Árpád Schilling
The Hungarian performance, joined by simultaneous interpretation on headphones, was primarily promoted by Viktor Bodó, who played Baal, an animally egoist daredevil with inimitable grin, the briskness of the beast and the irresistible charm; sexy, brutal and only just as dull as to be the superior one in the end; until the collapse, but then the optical stimuli had tired the audience as much as not to let them realise the fatal end.
Foreigner guests as well as the elite of our own professionals regarded the Hungarian performance as this year’s top staging. The structure’s brilliant composition, deviating from the traditions, offered a unique approach with the main character’s (Viktor Bodó) ‘bare costume’ in a way that its function made it operable.
Anna Grusková, SME
The real experience for me was Árpád Schilling’s staging. This young director presented a new and amazing approach to the exhibitionism of art. Never before have I seen Baalt in such a detailed interpretation, which elevated the drama to a new dimension. My seminars on contemporary criticism will exclusively focus on this particular performance.
Jeremy Kingston, The Times
It is obvious that these young Hungarian people taught us a lot. Taught us about theatre, desire, wit, boldness. And passion. These are areas full of risk and danger. Compared to them the French theatre seems far too faint and conservative. (.) But whatever protest one has against the use of cruelty, the abuse and contempt of the body, one can only welcome the professional knowledge and maturity of these young actors. How can they deal with degradation and disgust? I don’t know. You have to see them. But what is primary and whose lack would make it unbearable is the priority of the form that creates the bond between us and the beauty. All the actors were amazingly dangerous, ambiguous, courageous, just as this laughing and ugly faun.
Frédéric Ferney, Le Figaro
Viktor Bodó plays this role with the vitality of a predator just like Dwid Bowie and Fassbinder did back in the day. Árpád Schilling’s power is in this, he joins the club of the devine rebels.
Brigitte Salino, Le Monde