Diary of the Guy at the Deli Counter

Orlai Productions, Budapest

by Ildikó Lőkös and Pál Göttinger
based on the novel of the same title by Márton Gerlóczy
Jurányi Art Incubator House, Chamber Room
Saturday, 6 December, 3pm
100 minutes without a break
Performed in Hungarian with simultaneous English translation

Performed by: András Ötvös
Assistant to the production: Zsuzsa Jánoska
Dramaturg: Ildikó Lőkös
Assistant to the director, puppets and visual design: Jankó Schneider
Directed by Pál Göttinger
Date of first night: 17. October, 2014

WHO – Márton Gerlóczy was born in 1981, in Budapest. He wrote his first novel when he was 21 years old; this novel (Igazolt hiányzás [Verified Absence], 2003) was an instant literary success. It became a cult book, and it made Gerlóczy a favourite author of his generation. Since then hehaspublished several novels. In his novels, Gerlóczy usually writes about topics that have a great influence of the society of today, often within everyday stories. GerlóczyMárton is a provocative author with a fresh voice in the Hungarian literary scene.

Pál Göttinger was born in 1983, Budapest. He graduated the University of Theatre and Film Arts in 2007, in the class of Gábor Székely. He received professional training in Poznan and in London. Since 2012 he is a frequent contributor to Momentán Company, a Budapest based improvisational theatre company. In the season of 2010/2011 he was a member of the Bárka Theatre in Budapest, after that he was a member of the Csiky Gergely Theatre at Kaposvár until 2013. Now he is a member of the Hungarian Theatre at Pest. He won the award for best directing in 2008 at the Alternative Theatre Festival, for a.N.N.a an adaptation of Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp. He won Junior Prima Award in 2011.

Orlai Productions was founded by Tibor Orlai in 2010. In the last four years, he has produced about 50 performances.OrlaiProductions has brought out several world and Hungarian premieres of contemporary plays, which are at the same time popular with the audience, and are respected by the critics.

WHAT – The novel’s time and way of speaking plays with the present tense of diary writing. While the main character tells us about his day, everything happens to him all over again. That is the reason that we chose to play it as a monodrama. Also a monodrama is always a milestone in an actor’s career. There is the possibility to shine. There is loneliness, vulnerability, and there is gleeful self-entertainment. He has the attention solely.

‘It was the director’s idea to present the play as a monologue, an animated adult puppet show. He asked for the help of one of the best puppeteers and puppet show directors, Jankó Schneider. […] The main idea was that the guy has a lot of time on his hands, so he amuses himself. […] I did not aim to be a realistic butcher or delicounterworker, instead, I wanted to be a realistic preschooler, who is closed into a playhouse. Jankó and Pali figured out casting, and they gave the different roles to the sausage, to the ketchup, to the grater, etc. The job was special because of the puppetry. I havealways admired the puppeteers, but from now I admire them more’- Interview by Rita Szentgyörgyi with András Ötvös (Rita Szentgyörgyi: Egyszercsakmegelevenedikegyvirsli, magyarnarancs.hu)

WHY – “That half year was artificial reality. Working at the deli and chasing girls. I did both of them intentionally, because of the novel. They were roles. I had these adventures so that I can write about a lot of these impressions in the book.’ (Zoltán Csicsely: GerlóczyMárton: Húskészítményekrőlésnőkrőlírtam (interview), 7ora7.hu)

‘It is not just that you can peek into the habits of the ‘inhabitants’ of the Supermarket, into their daily life. But between the vendor and the buyer, we can see the kind or ugly faces of Humanity.’ (Anita Pataki: Zsírbantocsogóélvezet, kultography.blog.hu)

‘Behind the irony and the cynicism, there is sympathy. Thereisturning to one another, seeing the face of the other. András Ötvös balances this diversity, so that neither side of his character suppresses the others. Every movement is valid, more precisely they are valid to the character.’ (Lilla Turbuly: Hatórásállás, 7ora7.hu)