The theatre of the absurd – a name which most likely would not have been accepted by Eugène Ionesco – focuses on the idea that the happenings that largely build what we consider human existence, human lives, are not constructed of purpose and meaning, leaving us with irrational and illogical rhetoric and, ultimately, silence. By jolting the audience out if its comfort zone, it brings them to blatant realities which have been hidden behind façades of orthodoxy fed by higher institutions and regimes of repetitive regimentation. While it may seem, in an instant, that this style leads towards ultimate despair, it is in truth a form of challenging the mind to acknowledge what is and to live absurdity with meaning, with decorum, grace and grandeur.
Žak, ili pokornost (Jack, or the Submission): Eugène Ionesco’s take on the absurdity of family life of Jack and his family, aptly named Father Jack, Mother Jack, sister Jacqueline and Grandfather Jack, and the Jacks’ and Roberts’ families’ scheme of marrying Jack to Roberta, who has three noses. As he had already reviled marriage to the same Roberta with two noses, the three-nosed Roberta is again found insufficiently ugly. Alas, Jack is enchanted by the second-only-daughter, by a tale of flaming stallions and wordplay, and duly submits to his fate.
The idea of the theatre performance by Dragan Ristić was to direct its theatre aesthetics to alternative forms and to find its place in the theatre repertoire of Hungary and Europe. The play is directed in minimalistic style with little text, but an abundance of choreography. The idea itself is interesting because Roma weddings are the oldest form of theatre. The director analyses the Roma tradition through the prism of the absurd, which only Eugene Ionesco could write.