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Janka is 10 years old. She is a very happy and lively child. It’s just that sometimes her mum shouts and other times she doesn’t even notice her.

Janka has friends. They are also very happy and lively children. It’s just that their parents are either fighting or divorced or don’t even exist.

The children sing and dance, and Janka draws the world around her exactly as she imagines it: full of odd characters and unexpected events. Everyone is looking for sunshine.

But what happens to people when the sun doesn’t shine for a long time?

Andrea Pass’s drama, directed by Radu Afrim and performed by the actors of Tamási Áron Theatre, holds up a mirror reflecting grave social matters. Along the scenes, the histories of three families take shape, all broken in one way or another: divorce, illness, abandoned children, parents with wrong expectations. However, these heavy dramas, as we have come to expect from the multiple UNITER Award-winning director, are brought to the stage with humour, playfulness, and vivid imagery coloured by childlike imagination. Some of the actors play multiple roles, appearing as both children and adults in the story, or playing the characters in the scenes born in the kids’ imaginations.

In the drama’s foreword, writer and critic Andrea Tompa writes about its plot: “Every situation on stage is dominated by a classic case of a narcissistic mother; she lacks empathy, attention, and interest in others. She’s pushy, infinitely selfish, and, at the same time, suspicious and permanently defensive despite imagining that she’s never guilty of anything. In the end, this absence of empathy makes her cruel. In the first scene, she’s late from a PT meeting, holds up the teacher, and states that she must be ashamed instead of her husband, who didn’t come. What could the husband be like in these conditions? A classic „emotionally absent” father. He’s there, just not emotionally, not with his attention or interest. The two have a ten-year-old daughter, who obviously doesn’t get much attention. She draws well, but only in black… It’s the play’s virtue that it is able to show both the surface and the depths at the same time in sharp, playful scenes, and strong situations.”

The Tamási Áron Theatre’s production is not simply about family histories burdened by evil parents, abuse, and beatings but more about lonely lost children and grown-ups searching for the possibility of a better life. Instead of great dramatic scenes, and universal truths, we get to see ordinary situations, ordinary people, just like us struggling day by day. It’s like watching our own families, looking for happiness as sunflowers look for sunshine.

Mother: PÁL FERENCZI Gyöngyi
Teacher: GAJZÁGÓ Zsuzsa
Janitor, Hairdresser, Clerk at the thrift shop: SZAKÁCS László
Father: ERDEI Gábor
Janka: VARSÁNYI Szabolcs
Erik: KÓNYA-ÜTŐ Bence
Dzsenifer: KORODI Janka
Klari: BENEDEK Ágnes
Woman in the mental ward, Bodza, Parent, Kid: VASS Zsuzsanna
Cintula, Homeless, Doctor, Parent: PIGNITZKY Gellért
Little Bélu, Waiter, Policeman, Patient, Parent: NAGY-KOPECZKY Kristóf
Parent, Child: CSOMÓS Tünde Tímea, GAZDA Szende
Parent: BARTALIS Szabolcs
Directed by: Radu AFRIM
Director’s assistant: DÁLNOKY Réka
Set and costume designer: Irina CHIRILĂ
Coreography: Flavia GIURGIU
Music: KÓNYA-ÜTŐ Bence
Stage manager: CSOMÓS Tünde Tímea
Prompter: GAZDA Szende

Duration of performance: 2 hours and 45 minutes(with 1 interval)

Date: 14th of September, Thursday, 18:00
Location: Tamási Áron Theatre, Main Hall
Tickets HERE.