Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria by Martin Sperr – National Theatre, Budapest

2011.02.02. 19:41


A play about the bigotries and hypocrisies of village life. With English surtitles on 11 February 2011 as part of X-Section.

Martin Sperr was born in 1944 in Steinberg, Lower Bavaria to teaching parents. He didn't finish his studies as an industrial merchant and became a student of the Max-Reinhardt Seminar. However, he did not complete that study either. In 1965 he went to work for the Bremen Kammerspiele. In 1966, he staged his folk play Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria at the theatre and immediately became one of the most successful young German playwrights. He wrote the play when he was only 18, and it was rich with his own life experiences.

The play is written in a Bayern dialect in which he turns against the bigotries and hypocrisies of village life. Sperr set his drama in the Bavarian village of Reinod in 1948. His subject is the virulent sickness of Nazi Germany - a sickness that, in the playwright's view, did not even begin to end with the demise of Hitler. As the villagers try to survive the social dislocations and economic deprivations of the post-war period, they sink into an amoral state that knows no bounds and experience the complete disintegration of moral codes. Parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors all turn on each other. Sex is cruel and murder is casual; greed and vigilantism are the characters' daily bread. The people of the village drive a mentally retarded youth to the point of suicide and a homosexual to the point of murder.

Peter Fleischmann made a film version of the play in 1968, making Sperr internationally famous.

Like this we are.

And we are like that.

And there are others, who are again different.

Everyone is a separate world.

And not better or worse.

I don't know why the world goes in the direction that we more and more lose our curiosity in what is unknown to us.

Because we are afraid.

Because we might not be sure of ourselves.

This play doesn't palter.

And it doesn't talk much.

But it talks about something important.

About us, who attack and destroy.

A cruel writing.

But maybe after we can be silent.

And maybe we will never shout again.

That we are better.

Because we are not.

We are humans.

Of this sort, and of that sort.

(Róbert Alföldi)

Premiere: 24 April 2010


BARBARA, field worker: Piroska Molnár

ABRAM, her son: András Stohl

TONKA, maid servant: Kátya Tompos

MARIA, peasant woman: Juli Básti

ROVO, her son: Dénes Farkas

VOLKER, Maria's attendant: József Szarvas

MAYOR: László Sinkó

GEORG, his servant: Gábor Hevér

ZENTA, field worker: Tünde Murányi

BUTCHER: Bori Péterfy

FRANZI, her son: Ábel Ducsai

CSONTI, grave digger: Frigyes Hollósi

PAULA, office clerk: :Andrea Söptei


CONRAD, her son: Reynolds William

PRIEST: Ádám Földi

Set: Róbert Menczel

Costume: Sándor Daróczi

Dramaturg: Enikő Perczel, Róbert Vörös

Directed by Róbert Alföldi