Diary

Memorable programs, memorable people

12 January 2018

In Arany’s Footsteps

It was probably around the success of the Harry Potter books that it was seriously considered for the first time whether stories triggering a reading frenzy among young people should be declared compulsory reading in schools. Some reasoned that in order to promote their love of reading, children should be offered books that are better attuned to this age. Others would have none of it, would not have any of the classics removed from formal education. Luckily, as part of the János Arany memorial year, we have seen countless performances throughout the country which prove that the solution in this case once again is not either-or but rather along the lines of both: older, timeless works are retuned in a way that resonates with today’s youth as well. Examples for this are Gábor Csőre’s one-man performance of Toldi at the National Theatre, Ákos’s poetry night, or the performance of Pesti Magyar Theatre entitled Képmutogató. We saw all of these shows together with our high-school-aged daughter, who was duly impressed by all of them. I read a review about the performance Képmutogató, in which the reviewer said the question is not why this performance was produced but rather why it was not produced earlier.

Photograph 3.: courtesy of the National Theatre