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1946. Kunvadas: a fictive village near the city of Szolnok in Hungary. WWII has just ended and only a few of the deported Jews have returned. The village teacher, Sándor Hadnagy, is charged with war crimes, and he finds himself in the cross-fire of political battles. Meanwhile, people are increasingly attracted to lynch law. Poverty and hunger give rise to hysteria, and the villagers are looking for an enemy: they form a troop and decide to meet out justice by their own standards. And in no time, history repeats itself.

Inspired by real events and authentic documents, Pál Závada’s novel, A Market Day, is one of the most significant works of contemporary Hungarian literature. The Kossuth Prize winning writer focuses on a relatively unknown, rather shocking and violent episode of Hungarian history: the pogroms against the Jewish population of Kunmadaras. Závada enquires about the underlying forces of motivation, and it allows him to create a panoramic human story about our historical traumas and the responsibility of the community. The novel, which was nominated to the Libri Literary Award in 2017, has been adapted to the stage by the Mohácsi brothers, which allowed Radnóti Theater to close its Season 2017/2018 by presenting a Hungarian world premiere.

The play is performed without an interval.
The play is 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

“I think an illuminating or cathartic work about this topic must go beyond showing the pain and evoking our sympathy. It should also shed light on the myriad of things going on concurrently, the things that people believed in, or what we can find out about the causes and the circumstances, and what points of the story can make us emotionally engaged – in addition to the compulsory feelings of sympathy and remembrance.” (Pál Závada)

“I don’t think that those who took part in the pogroms in 1946 were vicious to the core but surely there were evil ones among them. These people were not familiar with the facts since information was scarce if it got to them at all. A lot depends on how a small community reacts to certain things. Then and there evil had escalated in a matter of moments. I’m very interested in how this escalation had happened.” (János Mohácsi)

Grand Prize of the Hungarian Theatre Critics 2018 – Best new play of the year
Contemporary Hungarian Play Award 2019
Radnóti Theater’s performance based on Pál Závada’s novel A Market Day is a taboo breaking performance full of political allusions.”
NÉPSZAVA | daily newspaper

With this performance Radnóti Theater demands a place for itself among those theatres which succeed in exceeding their own high standards with each new play.”
24.HU | one of the most read news portals

“It should be the mission of all the theaters in the country to face with certain things. As anyone who deals with society or politics feels more and more problems, Hungarian theater reacts less and less directly to these issues. It is good that Radnóti Theater under the management of Adél Kováts invites many of those directors who are willing to take risk.“
SZÍNHÁZ | theater professional monthly paper

“This performance is a memento. Remember and make others remember. Warning that something that had happened can happen again. The manipulation of the masses, the creation of the concept of an enemy, making people hate those who are different, the separation of society are well-known methods that the power used successfully in 1946 not for the first time. Society had no answer to that and still has no answer.“
REVIZORONLINE.HU | one of the most respected theater professional portals

“It is hard and tough but not unendurable to face who we really are and what we are capable of, what we have done with our friends, neighbours and in-laws. It would be good if there were many performances of this play in the country even in the smallest places. Budapest is only a village among the villages where out of greed, cowardice or fear we beat to death our own in the name of ‘we, the Hungarians’.“
PRAE.HU | one of the most read cultural portals

“The stake of the performance is that if this story remains in Pál Závada’s book or stays within the Radnóti Theater’s walls, if we do not make an effort to understand and interpret this story, we will never live in a livable country.“
SZINHAZ.NET | one of the most important theater professional portals

'A MARKET DAY' will be performed in Hungarian, with English subtitles.


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András PÁL
György GAZSÓ
Bettina JÓZSA

Márton KOVÁCS violin
Csaba GYULAI percussion/gadulka
Ádám Móser accordion
Árpád NÉMEDI dulcimer
Dramaturg: István MOHÁCSI
Costume Design: Kriszta REMETE
Stage Design: Zsolt KHELL
Lights: Sándor BAUMGARTNER
Music: Márton KOVÁCS
Assistant Director: Zsófi ARI