Konrád, Tivadar

Milan Fust: The Unhappy Ones - Radnoti Theatre, Budapest

2010.09.13. 14:58


Probably the best Hungarian play written in the 20th century is The Unhappy Ones by Milan Fust.

A dark tragedy written in 1914 (and almost never staged till the mid 60s), it is a naturalist-expressionist drama of a man who keeps two, or more, lovers and of a family falling apart. Sharp, cruel, dramatic, psychologically exact and well written with short dialogues, the play was not staged due to its ‘too bitter' and ‘too gloomy' character. In previous decades, major directors have staged it, practically as a compulsory task.

Fust's view of the world is definitely tragic. His characters are all of no importance, but still deep human beings. The main character is reluctant and cynical, but still tragic and deep.

Janos Szasz directed the play at the Radnoti Theatre in Budapest and placed it in a contemporary context, transforming it into a flat, simple story with a weak central character who has no human depth. The darkness and tragedy are lost from the beginning, and good young actresses cannot save the show. 

Andrea Tompa


Hungarian Theatre Critics Association