Picture: Dudás Ernő
For its creation, the Szputnyik Shipping Company partnered with the Union of European Theatres and several European theatres and theatre companies to conceive a both nomadic and collaborative theatrical project.
After touring Graz, Mainz, Budapest and Leipzig, the show then travelled to our member theatre in Cluj — the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania — in a completely new version that was specifically created for the audience in Cluj.
The show was entitled Last Man in Cluj-Napoca and was performed on 3 and 4 November 2013.
Why can’t men create a social form in which the majority can live happily? — this was the starting point of the production. Raising this question already implies the fact that — according to the artists — there is no such social form. This play therefore made a strong statement about the world.
In form, the play was a “social survival-show” that simultaneously used the elements of a reality show, a board game, and a socio-psychological experiment. The script contains a series of actions and game rules. Fifty percent of the performance was improvisation with fixed rules and a set time, while the other fifty percent was a rehearsed scene. Using the language of theatre, all of the scenes were games based on simple rules, or sometimes on theatrical exercises that match a certain social form, problem, or phenomenon. Or not. It was the spectator who decided what they read into the play.
Viktor Bodó invented a fictional story to frame the performance. Players were recruited for this social survival show after a multi-round casting. The goal was to become “The Last Man in Graz / Mainz / Leipzig / Parma / Cluj / Budapest” in order to enter the Big Game.
The game was led by a showman who was also the commentator — the Big Brother — and gave points after certain tasks had been completed, or who occasionally asked the spectators to vote. The basic team consisted of ten Hungarian members of the Szputnyik Shipping Company. Local actors of partner theatres or immigrants of the respective city joined them, entering the game with a serious disadvantage, and their situation did not improve with time.
Rehearsals lasted for three to four days at every partner theatre. During this time they adapted certain parts of the performance to local situations and to the actors who joined them. Every location meant a new opening performance; every place promised a slightly new play.
Last Man in Cluj-Napoca – Social Error
Director | Viktor Bodó
Set and Costume Designer | Juli Balázs
Dramaturg | Júlia Róbert, Tamás Turai and Anna Veress
Lighting Desiger | Tamás Bányai
Music | Gábor Keresztes
Digital Media | András Juhász and Gábor Karcis
Video | Dániel Bálint
Design | Gergő Nagy
Director’s Assistant | Andrea Pass
Set Designer’s Assistant | Luca Szabados
Editor | Zsófi Rick
Production | Ildikó Ságodi and Péter Tóth
Technical Director | Zsolt Balogh
With actors from the Szputnyik Shipping Company: Gábor Fábián, Niké Kurta, Dániel Király, Pál Kárpáti, Zoltán Szabó, Kata Pető, Péter Jankovics, Lőte Koblicska, Károly Hajduk, Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei
And actors from the Hungarian Theatres of Cluj: Szabolcs Balla, Balázs Bodolai, András Buzási, Loránd Farkas, Éva Imre, Rita Sigmond, Gábor Viola
Produced by the Sputnik Shipping Company
In coproduction with the Schauspielhauz Graz, the Staatstheater Mainz, the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, the Schauspiel Leipzig/Centraltheater, the Fondazione Teatre Due in Parma, the Automne en Normandie Festival and the National Theatre in Budapest.
At the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania
On 3 and 4 November 2013