You can catch quality English-language theatre in Budapest this evening, streamed live from the TRIP Boat at 7pm. Tonight’s three-man performance of short pieces by István Örkény is the first in a regular series of English-language drama to be enjoyed at home. Trio member and long-term Budapest local explains Alexis Latham how it all came about.
With its Quarantine Theatre set up almost immediately after coronavirus restrictions were put in place around Budapest, the TRIP Boat was a pioneer in its field, streaming live drama to audiences starved of culture. The first show, aptly a Hungarian rendering of The Plague by Albert Camus, attracted 8,500 listeners. Now the TRIP team headed by László Magács is turning to English-language theatre to broaden its remit.
The show, an adaption of One Minute Stories by István Örkény, starts tonight at 7pm. “I know Laci from the old Merlin Theatre days when my company Scallabouche used to play there,” said Alexis Latham, one third of the trio due to perform at the TRIP Boat this evening. “He was keen to have something in English for Quarantine Theatre. It’s great to hook up with him again.”
Alexis will be joined on stage – “two metres apart from each other, obviously!” – by Owen Good and Andrew Hefler. He and Hefler recently played together in Budapest in The Story Room. This time, the material is very much Hungarian.
“One Minute Stories by István Örkény is a nice choice because it’s very entertaining, involving different voices, characters and situations over a short period of time. Plus it has that typical Hungarian twist to it. It’s all about the sub-text.”
Obviously, though, there’s a wider picture. “With all of us at home now, I feel there’s a real demand for live performance of some kind. We can listen to recorded shows or watch Netflix but that live element is still vital – to feel part of the audience.”
László himself will be filming and encouraging the actors from two metres away. The piece should run for around 40 minutes.
“We have more lined up through April,” said Alexis. “And we’re looking at different platforms to stage other material.”
One Minute Stories at the TRIP Boat
Thursday, 26 March, 7pm
Facebook event details here.