Katona J. Szinház a Szputnyik, Budapest, Hungary, 2012
Author: Júlia Róbert – Viktor Bodó
Directed by Viktor Bodó

about the production

It is interesting to watch, how in the production Anamnesis it was possible to put together the members of the independent ensemble Sputnik with the actors of one of the most popular municipal theatres in Budapest, Katona Jòzsef Theatre and create an original stage composition inspired by the topic of the healthcare system. As the starting point it used the research of the current situation in the Hungarian healthcare system and discussions with doctors and patients.

Although the theme of the current healthcare system is very topical in Hungary, as well as every other East European country, Bodó goes far beyond it. A fictitious story of a young theatre director who comes to a hospital to identify his reportedly dead mother in the autopsy room is a metaphor of a malfunctioning, bureaucratic system destructing people with its monstrosity.

It is a Kafkaesque enormity of a system full of absurdities and pseudo-rules that oppose human beings. In this matter, which Viktor Bodó excellently depicted already in the production Rattledanddisappeared, or in a similarly absurd, preposterous production The Dice Man, he is, in the first place, interested in the contraposition of the man and the system he has created. The hospital in the Anamnesis is a metaphor of a sick, malfunctioning society which is not supporting life but death. The main protagonist Tibor is wandering about this hospital – a kind of today’s castle – and, similarly as Joseph K. or the Surveyor, eventually dies, worn-out by his vain struggle with the hospital machinery.

The originality of the director Viktor Bodó lies in the extraordinary inventive mixing of various theatre techniques, assembling various elements and references to pop, decadent literature or film. With vigorous, witty ideas he is able to create a dynamic theatrical unit, alternating quick and slow sections, serious and comical scenes, while wrapping it all into a seemingly cynical and cruel tone. Dramatic and cabaret scenes on the stage, with a live band (the actors are also excellent musicians), are united in mise-en- scenes full of grotesque and absurd humour. Similarly as in Rattledanddisappeared, also here the already mentioned Kafkaesque world is created, a world of an enclosed space filled with quaint, almost distressing situations out of which there is no escape. Viktor Bodó and his team of excellent actors go to the extreme in order to rouse the viewer from lethargy and mercilessly show him the real face of the present society with all its masks, grimaces, calculations with human health and life measured only by money. In the conclusion to the staging, continually entertaining the viewer who is constantly laughing at cruel jokes, one shivers – it is not often that you can see such an exact definition of the essence of power and an almost existential refection on the fragile line between life and death.
Martina Vannayová

“Anamnesis, directed by Viktor Bodó is a series of fluffy and grotesque caricatures, with an explosive power that will not let him attention lessen. We have not seen so many crazy faces on one single stage. […] Surreal scenes keep change rapidly, and once again we experience the typical Bodó-esque style: constant play with glowing lights and billowing steam, and, of course, pop mega hits from the last four decade.”
Bori Bujdosó,

“Everything is provisional, there is no-one to take the responsibility, spoken words are not valid any more, there are no predefined roles and human lives can be play with without any consequences – Hungarian healthcare system in the 21st century.”
István Ugrai,

“Shutting down, reorganization, dismantling, concentration, residents working abroad - acute and current topics are on the stage, we see today’s reality in Katona, with a peculiar twist. Anamnesis is based on real-life stories from the healthcare system gathered from the audience and interviews conducted with medical workers – doctors, nurses, paramedics.”
Tamás Koltai, Élet és irodalom


directed by Viktor Bodó
costumes: Fruzsina Nagy
set: Juli Balázs
light: Tamás Bányai
music: Klaus von Heydenaber
choir master: Dóra Halas
lyrics: Zsolt Máthé
dramaturgy: Júlia Róbert
director´s assistant: Judit Tóth
international manager: Ildikò Sàgodi
cast: Balázs Czukor, István Dankó, Gábor Fábián, Károly Hajduk, Adél Jordàn, Péter Jankovics, Tamás Keresztes, Lőte Koblicska, Lehel Kovács, Vilmos Kun, András Lajos, Ferenc Lengyel, Béla Mészáros, Éva Olsavszky, Hanna Pálos, Zoltán Szabó, Rozi Székely, Ági Szirtes, Réka Tenki, Simon Ferenc Tóth, Vilmos Vajdai


Viktor Bodó (1978), after graduating in acting and theatre directing, belongs nowadays to the most interesting generation of young theatre makers in the present Hungarian (and since 2006 also German) theatre world. He made himself a reputation with the play Rattledanddisappeared, a free author’s adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial, which he staged in 2005 in the Budapest Katona József Színház theatre, similarly as Anamnesis now. Already in the former one he presented himself as director rich in extremely witty stage inventions that were able to do justice to the absurd, dark, but simultaneously humorous Kafka’s world. Viktor Bodó has staged plays by M. Bulgakov, A. P. Chekhov, W. Shakespeare, F. Molnár, P. Handke, but often his own texts written mainly in cooperation with András Vinnai. In 2008 he founded the ensemble Sputnik Shipping Company, which is one of the most significant and original groups of Hungarian independent theatre. The ensemble is often thought of as a lab of free, creative, collective research, disrupting the theatrical routine.

Materials available

Script of the production: SK

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