How can we talk about the biggest trauma of the 20th century, the Holocaust?
According to the renowned director, János Mohácsi and his former students we can do so with the help of Jewish jokes and songs, documents from the 30’s and 40’s, and by reciting them – in pitch darkness.
The texts were selected by János Mohácsi and the actors together, predominantly from personal reminiscences. Texts from the film Shoah by Claude Lanzmann as well as many other sources were used, such as case studies, survivor testimonies, literary works, diary notes, historical sources, official reports and personal collections to evoke the historical period and the mood of the time.
The piece was produced in 2012 as a coproduction of Faculty of Arts of Kaposvár University and FÜGE, one of the leading production houses in Budapest for independent performing arts. In 2013 the piece received an award by the Hungarian Association of Theatre Critics for Best Independent Performance and Best Music, and in the same year it was programmed in the Hungarian Theatre Showcase 2013. FÜGE took care of its distribution until 2016, since then it has been regularly presented in Örkény István Theatre. The play was performed by many locations, both in Budapest and countryside.
“When there is the end of the Ghetto Sheriff performance, we quietly stand up and leave the space. János Mohácsi did a brilliant job again. But now we don’t clap, because its not possible to say thanks for what have heard.”
“For the darkness of the history János Mohácsi and his cast had to create the darkness of the theatre. Darkness without interval – this is the genre of the Ghetto Sheriff.”
"I feel that I can't describe this show, you must see and live through. I would make this show to be the part of the official education for all high school." (This is from a Hungarian article:
English review with a link:
Then the girls there ran in masses into the high voltage wires. And then one of my girlfriends from Jászapáti told me, ,,Come, run with me into the wires!” And then I say: ,,Are you stupid? I won’t run!” Then she: ,,Why not?” I say: ,,Listen! If I run into the wires, and then these tomorrow lose the war, I’ll be really pissed in the kingdom come!” Those around me hearing what I’ve said, they all started to guffaw. That day no suicide was committed. For one guffaw. /Ágnes Moller/
Creator-performers: Eszter Bánfalvi/Csilla Radnay, Ádám Lábodi/Zsolt Nagy, Anna Boros, Tamás Keresztény, Máté Lakatos/Dániel Király/Bálint Formán, Árpád Némedi,
Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei/Petra Grisnik, Diána Nóra Takács/Kriszta Bíró, Hella Tolnai/Liza Sodró
Creators: Márton Kovács, János Mohácsi
János Mohácsi is a teacher at university, and Jászai Mari Award winner Hungarian director, one of the most best-known in his country.