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The Good Life in Aggtelek National Park Part 100: Euripides in Miskolc

dionysusWe are fairly frequent visitors to the Miskolc International Theatre, attending a performance about once every 3 months and we try to make a night of it when we do. We are particularly fond of director Artur Szőcs' productions, and that is not just because we know him. Our friends Nora (Artur's sister), Andras and Véra came from Budapest to join us for the late night performance at 9pm. First we grabbed dinner at the Impresszó, one of the very few restaurants in downtown Miskolc. We had been last year, but I left unimpressed with my food. This time was a much better experience. The restaurant immediately made room for our group of five, deftly moving a group of non-diners to another table for us. The staff is very courteous. Although we had to wait quite some time for our meals (at least it seemed that way on empty stomachs and an hour to get to the theatre), everyone was very satisfied with their food. My cheddar cheese-sundried tomato quesadilla with avocado cream was tasty, as impressziowere the pig's knuckles, large onion soup in a loaf of bread, and a salmon wrap around the table.

At the theatre we had 4th row seats to The Bacchae, an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides. "The Bacchae is concerned with two opposite sides of human nature: the rational and civilized side, which is represented by the character of Pentheus, the king of Thebes, and the instinctive side, which is represented by Dionysus. This side is sensual without analysis, it feels a connection between man and beast, and it is a potential source of divinity and spiritual power. In Euripides' plays the gods represent various human qualities, allowing the audience to grapple with considerations of the human condition. The Bacchae seems to be saying that it is perilous to deny or ignore the human desire for Dionysian experience; those who are open to the experience will find spiritual power, and those who suppress or repress the desire in themselves or others will transform it into a destructive force... The Bacchae is considered to be not only Euripides' greatest tragedy, but one of the greatest ever written, modern or ancient." (

I should have at least read a synopsis before the play, as the language was often above my level. The front row of girls got an eyeful from the start. The appearance of the god involves full nudity for the first 20 minutes or so. Once you get beyond this and the strange bunny costumes, you realise what great control Márk Bodoky as Dionysus has of his body. Minimal but inventive staging again marked this Szőcs production. Márk Bodoky was very good, and I particularly enjoyed Erika Nádasy's little dance at the side of the stage while the rest were doing some incredible pole dancing routines.

The cast included:






Teiresziás: ZOLTÁN VARGA

and others...

The production may next be seen on April 11th.