“Fight for Freedom” – a Great Success
docudrama by Rozália B. Brestyánszki
played by Béla Kálló and Péter Lóránt Tóth
Centered on the relatively short lived, but all the more profound friendships of two of the giants of Hungarian Literature: the ebullient radical patriot poet, Sándor Petőfi, who dedicated his life to the anti-Hapsburg Revolution of 1848-49, losing it on the battlefields of Transylvania at the tender age of 26, fighting alongside the legendary Polish General, Josef Bem; and that of the more sedate, insecure, no less of a patriot, family man János Arany, who lived an incomparably longer life, content with his position of a provincial notary. He faithfuly took under his wing his rascal friend’s widow and infant child, then managed to create and leave behind a towering body of work, decades later, matching Petőfi’s opus in epic poetry.
|Excerpt from the theatrical play Figth for Freedom as presented on March 9th, 2019 at the Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre|
|(Recording by Gábor Finta)|
The written material was aptly arranged in a dramatic flow of exchanges by the young dramaturg of Szabadka’s Popular Theatre (Bácska, present-day Serbia), Rozália Boros Brestyánski, and it relies on contemporary records, memoirs, anecdotes, diaries, and the written correspondence between the poets and their friends and relatives. The novelty of the approach consisted in the successful attempt of the performers to present the more or less known material as a true-to-life happening, as an exercise in verismo. They appeared in front of us as two young men, with their hopes and doubts, with their undeserved failures and incipient achievements, insecure of their future, which for one them never played out, never occured. They both had made a conscientious choice: one challenging his fate, the other assuming a more conciliatory, subdued position. It was their own pathway to Heaven, and now, they are finally free of worries and wars, hopes and angst, i.e. earthly life, they are the courtiers of Mnemosyne, Goddess of Remembrance.