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Village Day - Independent Theater Hungary

Village Day


Lápos can be any village in Hungary today: with inhabitants who struggle for their daily living, better or worse but they are lovable residents.  Misery-tourists visit the village day every year and the participants of the gastro-theatre performance meet real human tragedies in the pokey but inventive village. How much chance does a Gypsy woman have if she raises her child on her own without any opportunity to work? Where is hope when the biggest goodwill turns the most important people of our lives against us? What is needed when we take the road of unscrupulousness because we cannot get out of the woods? Where is the boundary between humanity and inhumanity? Similar questions arise when the tourists are walking on the lush side of Gellért Hill, Budapest during the performance by Independent Theatre Hungary and they can taste the special delicacies of the village during the premiere, too.
"I won’t be flexible when giving you the loan or when asking for it back. I won’t be touched by a story of your sick kid, there will be no money available for funerals or wedding parties or for homecoming. No interest-free period before Christmas. No meat, no tobacco, no clothes, no canned fruit, nothing but money. Forget 50%! From now on it’s gonna be a 100% compound interest rate even if it kills you. Do you want me to skin you alive? You’re gonna get what you deserve. Go ahead, stuff your bellies."


Writer, Director:Rodrigó Balogh
Performer:Emília Boda-Novy, Dávid Csányi, Orsolya Balogh, Judit Kőszegi, Cristopher Pászik, Béla Stubnya
Dramaturg:Márton Illés
Choreography:Henrik Nagy
Music: Máté Antal Kovács, Dávid Csányi
Assistant Director:Bóra Dömötörfy
Translation (English):Anna Lengyel
Premiered:2020, Gellért Hill, Budapest, Hungary



The play is based on the decade long research of Judit Durst, cultural anthropologist focusing on informal usury in the Hungarian villages. Usury is an informal and illegal way of money lending way – functioning outside the bank system – with diverse interest rates (from 20% even till 200% or above). It has more versions beside money lending, these ensure food, firewood, tobacco, clothing or other goods for the clients for financial interest. The people who have low and/or illegal income cannot get credit from the banks. For the financial needs of these people illegal usury gives answer everywhere in the world – as private individuals can’t give credit including any interest rate according to the legal regulations. In poor regions there are thousands of people who can only get financial credit from illegal money lending resources. According to the results of the research conducted by Durst there are so-called ‘correct’ usurers, who don’t expect higher interest rates than some of the financial institutions, meanwhile there are the so called ‘hot’ usurers, who count even extreme high interest rates, and who do aggressive actions against their clients in case they don’t pay back their credit according to the earlier made agreement.

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Focus scene


‘It is therefore exceptional (and how Brechtian) that instead of performing the dramas as “universal” according to white middle-class standards over and over again (for a minority of people, but still it is what intended to be mainstream theater today) the creators of the Independent Theater tailor-made European drama for themselves. First Ibsen, then Brecht. And now they made the Roma Mother Courage from Borsod, Hungary.’


‘The protagonist of the drama is Mara, in the powerful and beautiful portrayal of Emília Lovas, who presents us with the unwanted dilemma that in such a system that this country has reached after the change of the regime, one can only choose between two bad roles in a village in extreme poverty: hit or be hit, it’s worthless to try to avoid hitting.’


‘Village Day is a theatre performance where the public, represented by a group of tourists, is taken on a tour of a poor village in Hungary by various members of the community.’

The Calvert Journal

Materials to read

excerpts from the play
In case you would like to request availability to the full play and/or the full video about the performance, write an email to info@romaheroes.org and describe the aim of your request!

photo credits

All rights reserved

*left -> right*

1: ©Alina Vincze_Orsolya Balogh, Emília Boda-Novy, 

2: ©Alina Vincze_Orsolya Balogh, Dávid Csányi, Cristopher Pászik

3: ©Alina Vincze_Béla Stubnya, Cristopher Pászik

4: ©Alina Vincze_Dávid Csányi

5: ©Alina Vincze_Judit Kőszegi, Béla Stubnya