But what then? Everything in this world has two handles. Murder, for instance, may be laid hold of by its moral handle, and that, I confess, is its weak side; or it may also be treated aesthetically, that is, in relation to good taste. (…) For the final purpose of murder, considered as a fine art, is precisely the same as that of tragedy in Aristotle's account of it; viz "to cleanse the heart by means of pity and terror."
Thomas de Quincey, Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts (1827)
MISERO PROSPERO Project
Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts
Based on the text by Thomas de Quincey
Performers: Carlos Rodero and László Pipó
Lighting, Costumes and Characterization: Carmen Gonzalo
Music: Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth
Poster and Graphic Design: Strategies Design & Edition
Illustration: The Death of Marat (1793) by Jacques-Louis David
Assistant and Subtitles: Magos Eszter
Direction: Carlos Rodero and Bakucz Dóra
With the support of the Spanish Embassy in Budapest
1053 Budapest, Mihály utca Károlyi 16.
Friday and Saturday, January 27-28
At 20.00 pm
Length: 60 minutes
Performance in Spanish with Subtitles in Hungarian
Ticket: 1200 HUF
Tel: (36-1) 317-3611, (36-1) 317-3450
Fax: (36-1) 317-1722
Some words about the project
For the first time since the creation of MISERO PROSPERO Project, we present a play in Spanish here in Budapest. At first sight it may seem eccentric and, perhaps it is. But we know that, besides a solid Hispanic community, in Hungary there is great interest in Spain and many Hungarians study and speak Spanish, even some of them dominate it already in an exemplary manner. They will be, of course, two performances for a small minority that, however, does not have many opportunities to listen a theatrical text in Spanish. We count on the help of subtitles in Hungarian, although this has been a difficult decision given the circumstances of the putting on the stage. But we are sure that this will encourage many people to share this experience with us.
We start out this project, why deny it, as a little experiment. Perhaps this presentation is a seed, a breeding ground to move forward and show our work in Spanish speaking countries and also, why not, present it here again in a Hungarian version. It is a dramaturgical, acting and staging exercise, open to multiple revisions in the near future.
MISERO PROSPERO Project is in a period of changes. With this project we come back to text-based theatre. But this does not mean that we had left out the work we have been doing so far. We intend to continue working on various proposals, as we will show step by step.
A False Praise of Murder
Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts is a text that speaks about the outrageous hypocrisy of some at the time of dealing with violence. Especially those who hide their ambiguity and irresolution in affected intellectual arguments. This subject is treated with a gorgeous sense of humor and irony. In our path we have shown more than once that laugh is a powerful weapon in the theater. And now, once again, we’d like to make them laugh. And that laugh might be the catalyst for reflection. The speech of the Vice-President of the Foundation for Expert Connoisseurs of Murder, a character with grotesque tones and a subtle Dickensian dimension, which is addressed to the members of the Foundation at the end of the traditional annual dinner at the headquarters of the institution, is an exciting and intelligent nonsense that will put into question all those principles which he seem to defend.
The dramaturgic and the text: a work of synthesis
The original text, the brief narration by Thomas de Quincey, is so rich in content and so full of suggestions for staging that it was imposed, obviously, a compulsory and heartbreaking work of synthesis to convert it into a play of one hour length. It was also clearly discursive, showing the erudition and pedantry of the character. Therefore, the dramaturgic should worry about framing it into the theatrical action. We have done this through the evolution of the character on stage and a parallel writing that impulse such action with the help of a mute character, the waiter who serves the guests at the dinner. Consequently, even though, yes, only the main character speaks, we cannot call it a monologue. Another of our efforts has been to bring this text to the contemporary world. Its validity is still more terrifying than ever.
The putting on the stage: If the walls of a museum had ears
We present this show in a non-conventional space: one of the venues of Petofi Museum of Literature. The audience will take part of the world of the character, creating a close bond with him. That’s why the classic distance created between the audience and actors in a traditional theater was not convenient for us. A sober staging as usual in our performances, a careful characterization of the actors and a text that, while parodies totalitarian behavior, also provides clues for reflection and debate from a stage game created for enjoyment and pleasure of the inquiring and intelligent audience.
We’d like to finish these lines expressing our sincere thanks to all those selfless colleagues who have ventured with us in creating this toy. And thanks also, of course, to all the assistance provided by the museum staff and the Embassy of Spain in Budapest that has given us the opportunity to show this proposal.