Opened: 17th May 2012 Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, Austria
Running Time: 2 hrs
30 October 2017 at 20:00
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest
31 October 2017 at 20:00
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest
1 November 2017 at 20:00
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest
30 October 2017 at 20:00, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest
31 October 2017 at 20:00, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest
1 November 2017 at 20:00, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Liliom street 41., 1094 Budapest

Disgrace, the novel by J. M. Coetzee shows a true picture of the era we live in, even though the story is about David Lurie, a professor of romantic literature from Cape Town, and it takes place in the far Republic of South Africa after apartheid. The novel breaks the barriers created by the lines of forces of local society, and is able to show our big European questions with sharp precision. The story shows the mutual fears and problems that we all deal with on a continent obviously facing big rearrangements. In David’s character we get to know a white African, an always privileged snobbish intellectual, who loses his power and every point of reference in the new social system. David’s fall is also the fall of a world that allows the colonizer white people not to deal with their past and the consequences of their deeds even after several hundred years.  It is also a warning for the future collapse of the European world, in which we all were brought up and that we all know so well. A stranger knocks on David Lurie’s door and he has no choice but to let him in. But when he opens the door, a new structure of the world is revealed to him, one which he has no answers for.  With the rise of the masses and the oppressed, David loses everything. However in a strange way in the midst of his biggest dispossession, he finds the gift of freedom. 

From the reviews

"Mundruczó is the best, most impatient of opportunists, always at the adaptee’s side." (The Vienna Review - Austria)


"Mundruczó brings to Europe Coetzee’s questions about the coexistence of blacks and whites after Apartheid. It is a power play of the most fearsome sort." (De Standaard - Belgium)


"Mundruczó loves dense, concentrated pictures on a stage with plenty of props. This makes his direction intriguing." (Berliner Zeitung - Germany)


"Mundruczó’s panoramic, expertly realized production." (American Theatre - USA)


"Mundruczó paints a picture of a new future that is void of everything we consider European culture. European culture doesn’t give answers to lots of things, and in its great pride it forgot to foster relationships to those who may keep it alive. Therefore losing the war is necessary and evident. This is how everything that represented David Lurie’s life is dissolved, and this is how the barren animalistic instinctive life becomes valid." (István Ugrai - 7óra7)


"Kornél Mundruczó always works with strong effects. Sometimes he directs scenes that are difficult to watch. He sticks our noses into the cruelty of the world. (…) He builds on visceral effects. He investigates the animal within humans and how it often breaks out. (…) When something previously thought unbearable ends, and afterwards chaos is born, it is often followed by lots of pain, doubt and uncertainty. From this place, one cannot guess what will happen next. This makes the story rather similar to ours in a sense. It is no accident then that Mundruczó considers this story that takes place in South Africa, to be his most Hungarian performance. This is not up to the forced showing of Hungarian motives, but rather the ability for empathy and the sensitivity for problems, and also whether the performance really raises the questions that we struggle with day by day. And if anyone is, he is really raising those…" (Gábor Bóta - Népszava)


"Watching Kornél Mundruczó’s staging, the Hungarian spectator would not think of South Africa at all. Instead you will have flashes of our own history, the immediate past, and the events of our present. You will recall the years of transition and the unexpected consequences, and the silence about the recent decades. The supposed or real grievances that have piled up since, poverty, murders in the immediate past, racism, homo- and xenophobia, demonstrations and anti-demonstrations, good or bad-intentioned outsider dilettantes horning in; all which will only add fuel to the fire. But the saddest thing is the radicalization of young people and the black and white answers politicians give to complicated questions that cannot be answered in black and white terms. This issue is addressed, as well as the deep-rooted deformed hatred that so many - but not enough - of us just cannot comprehend." (Tímea Papp - Fidelio)


"This performance full of Brechtian V-effects (songs, addressing the public, etc.), brilliant associations and gags is basically true to the novel. (…) Mundruczó’s staging works with giant emotional amplitudes. It is totally brutal and rudely ordinary at the same time, as well as sensual, funny, absurd-grotesque and poetic. What the audience is left with are questions, this is not the theatre where upon leaving the audience learns a lesson. In this performance, which is strictly tied to the existence, there are no explanations but only situations and traps. The performance of Proton Theatre is alive in all its little details – especially in the Hungarian theatre landscape which can follow the nationalistic tendency towards sentimentalism, stupidity, compromise and spiritual laziness - this production stands out as courageous and particular. All episodes of Disgrace by Kornél Mundruczó are well-thought-out and elaborate. Every element of the performance contains great rhythm, for instance the "cinemascope" set of Márton Ágh, the musical collage of the finely sung "Nessun dorma" ("None shall sleep") by János Szemenyei, the dramaturgy of Viktória Petrányi and the teamwork of the actors – all are honorable, quality work." (Krisztina Horeczky - HVG)

Festival invitations

-Wiener Festwochen 2012. Vienna, Austria
-KunstenFestivalDesArts 2012. Brussels, Belgium
-Malta Festival 2012. Poznan, Poland
-Festival d’Avignon 2012. France
-HAU Hebbel am Ufer 2012. Berlin, Germany
-Romaeuropa Festival 2012. Rome, Italy
-Hungarian Showcase 2013. Budapest, Hungary
-National Theatre of Pécs 2013. Hungary
-13th National Theatre Festival 2013. Pécs, Hungary
-Tampere Theatre Festival 2013. Finland
-Züricher Theater Spektakel 2013. Switzerland
-Le Maillon 2014. Strasbourg, France
-NEXT Festival 2015. Lille, France
-Mousonturm 2015. Frankfurt am Main, Germany
-24th International Festival Theatre 2016. Pilsen, Czech Republic


-Best direction: Kornél Mundruczó - 13th National Theatre Festival 2013. Pécs, Hungary

-Best stage design: Márton Ágh - 13th National Theatre Festival 2013. Pécs, Hungary

David Lurie - Sándor ZsótérLucy Lurie - Annamária Láng / Orsi TóthBev Shaw - Lili MonoriBill Shaw - Miklós Székely B.Student 1. / Stewart / Petrus - Roland RábaMelanie / Wife of Petrus - Kata Wéber / Diána Magdolna KissRaper 1. / Student 2. / Dickinson - Gergely BánkiRaper 2. / Student 3. - László KatonaKubu / Student 4. - János SzemenyeiJohnny Weismüller - János Derzsi
Set, Costume
Márton Ágh
András Éltető
Written by
J.M. Coetzee
Viktória Petrányi
János Szemenyei
Assistant director
Zsófia Csató
Kornél Mundruczó
Dóra Büki
Production assistant
Zsófia Csató
Technical director
András Éltető
Light technician
András Éltető, Zoltán Rigó
Sound technician
Zoltán Belényesi
Video technician
Zoltán Gyorgyovics
Prop master
Gergely Nagy
Tímea Oláh, Jánosné Cselik
Gábor Thury

Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, Austria; Festival d’Avignon, France; KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium; Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, Hungary; Malta Festival, Poznan, Poland; HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany; Romaeuropa Festival, Rome, Italy


ITCB - Institute for Training and Consulting in Banking, Blup! beanbags, Kryolan City, PP Business Centre - Budapest, VisionTeam