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The seven years of ‘NőNYUGAT’

At the end of October five wonderful actresses will step on the stage in Gödöllő to form the famous creators and artists of the journal Nyugat focusing mainly on women. One of the performers is ANIKÓ FÜR. We have talked to her.
The play debuted in 2010 and you are over 107 performances. What is the secret of this success?

Anikó Für: It has many components. First of all I would like to mention the quality of selection. As we already had a Nyugat evening in our theatre earlier, without women, it was my colleague’s, Kriszta Bíró’s idea to supplement it with this important aspect as well. She read millions of pages. I would jokingly add that it is not hard for her because she was born with a book in her hand… (Laughter) But an important part of the success is the direction by Pál Mácsai, the dramaturgy by Barbara Ari-Nagy, the set and costume design by Anni Füzér, the long red bench, the elegant pant costumes, the music by Árpád  Kákonyi  – and maybe we, actors also go together. So everything works well together, every road goes to the same direction and meets at one point.

How many characters do you play?

A. F: I don’t know it exactly. Many, as all of us, by change, men and women. It is always very exciting and it always queries many things. Maybe this is the secret of our performance that we show well-known artists, writers and we present these wonderful geniuses closely. You can see what they hide, what they are afraid of and see that they are also humans though giants and idols.

Which is your favourite character from among them?

A. F: I like the lives of all the characters and it always changes who is the closest to me. During the seven years of playing it even our cells changed. Many things have changed in our lives, some of us have lost our parents, children have been born, lives have turned… This performance is the witness or imprint of our lives. These amazing human stories could be ours: love games, inner relationships, beloved -hated men and so on. So my personal relationship keeps changing with the played characters. 

You have already mentioned the design, too, the ceremonious black pant suits, the long bench painted red – how much can you identify yourself with this? It seems a bit rigid…

A. F: It is just the opposite. This pure visual word matches the colourful cavalcade hidden in the text and the play. It does not simply recall the era but it also strengthens the atmosphere – meanwhile it lets this rich world prevail.

What is it like to be a woman these days?

A. F: It is hard. What is more, it is complicated. (Laughter) It used to be simpler in the past, the roles were more obvious. And anyway a woman has a biological role, too – and it is pretty difficult to live up to all these nowadays: to be an attractive woman, a good mother and maybe to start something with the talent you got from God…

What kind of man is more suitable as a partner? An artist or a civilian?

A. F:
 There is no recipe for that. It is a question of chemistry. Two artists can also live together, roll forward like one ball – but it can be different, too. It depends on two people.

What are you preparing for now? 

A. F: Once there was a great set-up who wrote fantastic songs but these have never been sung in Hungarian. So I had an idea with György Fekete composer-writer to place them in a different spotlight, into a new world, new costume, a different perception as no one has ever heard them. My two wonderful musician friends, Jamie Winchester and Róbert Hrutka – because I am talking about their songs – liked this idea. Now we are working on this album and it will probably appear in autumn. Though Jamie Winchester has spent most of his life in Hungary, he has become an EMeRTON-awarded musician here and speaks Hungarian very well, one thing has been missing: he has never sung his songs in Hungarian. György Fekete wrote the lyrics tailored for me. We even have the title of the album ‘Hungarian Voice’ – which is a felicitous title because this is what I usually say in the shop, at the post office or petrol station when people recognise my voice due to one of my dubbing. 

Have you ever been to Gödöllő? 

A. F: Of course, many times. I had concerts there with both of my albums. Then to my pleasure I had the privilege to inaugurate my friend’s, Apolka Erős sculptor’s Little Balázs Statue, inspired by Attila József and there we said the poem Lullaby all together. When we took photos for an interview in the magazine ‘Nők Lapja’, we did that in the Royal Palace. Not long ago, I was hosted in the Royal Waiting Room with my colleague, Gabriella Hámori, who plays in NőNYUGAT, too. I was amazed what a wonderful culture venue has been made from this building. So it is good to visit Gödöllő again.

Ildikó Lőkös