Hard to be a God

Hard to be a God
Opened: 21st May 2010 KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium
Running Time: 1 hrs 50 mins

Two trucks are standing on the side of the road. Goods are being exchanged, three young women. A big plan is taking shape and its success would change everything in the blink of an eye. The key to unmasking the plan is the boy had been hidden from the world. There is no room for mistakes. Different rules apply inside the cargo hold of the truck and those who do not obey will never return home. There is a stranger among them, who could interfere, but he does not – he himself is following orders. His presence is like that of a God; silently watching his creations from a distance. For a while. But how long can one stay an observer?

From the reviews

"Mundruczó forces his audience to play God. The spectators look passively on the events taking place right before their eyes, events that are nastier and nastier. (…) The combination of the tableaux vivants on stage and the horrors projected on the screen shocks. Most of all because it confronts us with the fact that reality out there is in fact much crueller still." (cobra.be - Belgium)


"Nudity, torture, intellectual terror and murder – Kornél Mundruczó confronts the spectator mercilessly with violence. (…) It may not be real blood that flows on stage, but watching this reality-show hurts. (…) Moments of sentimental yearning emerge in the musical interludes, when the actors in the lorry begin to make music with anything that comes to hand, be it a dustbin, an iron or a sewing machine." (nachricht.de - Germany)


"Breathtaking, East-European hardcore-reality theatre." (Der Standard - Austria)


"A fathomless abyss, in which people are tortured without restraint. It all happens on two lorries, we are speaking of human trafficking. The women are going to Western Europe in hope of a better future, but there they will be used, soon be living as slaves, until finally, completely stripped of their rights, they become the suffering subjects of sadistic humiliation." (Recklinghäuser Zeitung - Germany)


"Kornél Mundruczó's staging of Hard to be a god comes frighteningly close. A fantastic cast crosses the borderline between reality and illusion." (Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany)


"This production is one that you simply must see. It is a powerful portrayal of a horrible world that Mundruczó and his cast present in such a way that despite all your reservations you stay there and see it through. Fear, manipulation, dependency, hope, misfortune, indifference and stupidity have a shock effect, in places downright infuriating, but at every moment authentic. (…) All this, what is more, we can see in a performance by a wonderful cast." (Volkskrant - The Netherlands)


"Part of Mundruczó’s talent is the courage to present a story which does not aim to be credible (…) yet it shakes a person to the core." (Le Mouvement - France)


"It’s an intensely horrific and emotional piece of theatre, and it is the best production Adelaide has seen in some time." (theatreguide.com.au - Australia)

Festival invitations

-KunstenFestivalDesArts 2010. Brussels, Belgium
-Alkantara Festival 2010. Lisbon, Portugal
-Theater der Welt 2010. Essen, Germany
-Festival de Keuze 2010. Rotterdamse Schouwburg, The Netherlands
-Novart Festival 2010. Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, France
-dunaPart2 - Platform of Contemporary Hungarian Performing Arts 2011. Budapest, Hungary
-POT Festival 2011. Tallinn, Estonia
-Wiener Festwochen 2011. Vienna, Austria
-Malta Festival 2011. Poznan, Poland
-La Batie - Festival de Geneve 2011. Switzerland
-La Filature 2011. Mulhouse, France
-8th Politics in Independent Theatre - HELLERAU 2011. Dresden, Germany
-Adelaide Festival 2012. Australia
-MESS International Theatre Festival 2012. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
-Arm und Reich Festival 2013. Schauspielhaus Zürich, Switzerland
-47th BITEF Festival 2013. Belgrade, Serbia


-Price of the Federal Agency for Civic Education - 8th Politics in Independent Theatre - HELLERAU 2011. Dresden, Germany
-International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) Award – MESS International Theatre Festival 2012. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
-MESS Forum “Luka Pavlovic” Award by Theatre Critics and Journalists – MESS International Theatre Festival 2012. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
-Special Mention of MESS Jury – MESS International Theatre Festival 2012. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Váradi Annamária - Annamária LángAndrea - Kata WéberZita - Diána Magdolna KissEmőke - Orsi Tóthdr. Varjassy Károly - Roland RábaAttila - Gergely BánkiOmar - László KatonaJános - János DerzsiVarjassy Rudolf - János SzemenyeiDoctor - Zsolt Nagy
Set, Costume
Márton Ágh
András Éltető
Written by
Kornél Mundruczó, Yvette Bíró
Viktória Petrányi, Éva Zabezsinszkij
János Szemenyei
Assistant director
Dóra Büki
Kornél Mundruczó
Production supervisor
Judit Sós
Production manager
Dóra Büki
Production assistant
Péter Réti
Technical director
András Éltető
Light technician
András Éltető
Sound technician
Zoltán Belényesi, János Rembeczki
Prop master
Gergely Nagy
Jánosné Cselik

Alkantara Festival, Lisbon, Portugal; Baltoscandal, Rakvere, Estonia; Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal; KunstenFestivalDesArts, Brussels, Belgium; Rotterdamse Schouwburg, The Netherlands; Theater der Welt 2010, Essen, Germany; Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, France; Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest, Hungary


NXTSTP with the support of the Cultural Program European Union.

EkyLight, Open Society Institute, PropClub, VisionTeam