Reflextions of 11th Shakespeare Festival Gyula, Hungary

11th Shakespeare Festival Gyula, Hungary


The 11th Shakespeare Festival was organized between 2 and 12 July 2015, where could see ar special selection of the best Hungarian and foreign Shakespeare plays and performances. That time could see theatrical plays, take part in concerts, films, a conference and gastronomical programs too. The first premiere of the Gyula Castle theatre was the play Twelfth Night or What You Will by W. Shakespeare, directed by László Bocsárdi. This co-production with the company of the Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) Theatre was preceded by the presentation of UNITER-prize ‘best direction’ winner Hamlet two years ago in the Castle Theatre.

One of the most outstanding shows of the festival was the guest performance of the Chinese National Theatre, right from Beijing, which had brought down the house in many countries. The popular company played Richard III. in Gyula, incorporating Chinese traditions into the drama, directed by Wang Xiaoying.

In the York-based The Flanagan Collective six women played all roles in the most liked work of Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, with lots of music. Famous Polish actor Piotr Kondrat came again with an English language monodrama, this year was The Merchant of Venice, in which he played the protagonist, Shylock.

The Kossuth-prize Hungarian theatre director Sándor Zsótér presented his new work titled W. S. Othello –a Black Moor. The Transylvanian director Ádám Burák presented  Richard III. from a popular, modern point of view, which was  located at a special place, next to the Castle.  

A company came from India to present Macbeth in a traditional Indian dance show. At the Shakespeare Festival music has always played a crucial part. You could hear Shakespeare’s-age renaissance music by the internationally renowned Hungarian Renaissance Ensemble. The audience could  see the ballet Romeo and Juliet with the music of Tsjaikovski presented by the Miskolc Ballet, and we had invited the world-famous Portuguese jazz singer Maria Joao with her concert Songs for Shakespeare. Following our tradition, we had organized a conference on the often-heard question: Who Was Shakespeare? The participants scrutinized the facts on who might have written these great plays. On the last day of the Shakespeare Festival we talked show with the poet, essayist, and literary translator András Ferenc Kovács, about his relationship with Shakespeare as well as his own career as a poet. Directed by the talented young actor Attila Vidnyánszky Jr. you could see Shakespeare’s play Timon of Athens, starring Géza Hegedűs D., which focuses on the topic of today’s faux but spectacular civilization.