after the novel by J.M. Coetzee

  • Theatre
  • Video
  • Show
The 2012 archive

Kornél Mundruczó

Budapest / Created in 2012

Disgrâce © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


For Kornél Mundruczó, adapting Disgrace for the theatre meant taking the novel out of its context – post-apartheid South African society – and keeping the heart of J.M. Coetzee's reflection, namely the fear that suddenly appears in a community when upheavals deeply modify its lifestyle and the ancestral scale of its values. Through the fall of David Lurie, a totally integrated university professor whose life radically changes after one of his students accuses him, it is an X-ray of the collapse of a world that is staged here. Behind South Africa, there is of course Hungary, but also the European countries that have been subjected to crises of all types that mentally destabilize the populations and heighten anxieties: that of losing one's job, that of opening one's door to unknown callers, that of experiencing affective solitude... In a reality show that is both dramatic and musical, Kornél Mundruczó proposes a gallery of characters who questions the certainties, habits and conventions of the former European world. The politically incorrect and destabilization are weapons that the director does not reject, weapons all the more efficient as he puts them into the hands of incredibly engaged actors, aware of the stakes in the words they speak. A collective work based on a deep knowledge of the novel to better detach itself from it, Disgrace does not try to offer ready-made solutions but to give back a glimmer of hope to be shared. JFP


The most prestigious distinctions have underlined the importance and rigor of the work of the writer J.M. Coetzee: the Booker Prize, twice – a rare feat –, in 1983 for Life & Times of Michael K, then in 1999 for Disgrace, as well as the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. Disgrace takes an uncompromising look at the situation of his country, post-apartheid South Africa. It presents a sick country, split into two irreconcilable communities: one in the grip of vengeance that decades of humiliation and despoliation call out for, the other overwhelmed by an inexpiable guilt and by an unexplainable shame.


direction Kornél Mundruczó
dramaturgy Viktória Petrányi
artistic collaboration Yvette Biró
scenography and costumes Márton Ágh
music János Szemenyei
lighting András Éltet
sound Zoltán Belényesi
video Zoltán Gyorgyovics
with Gergely Bánki, János Derzsi, László Katona, Lili Monori, Roland Rába, B. Miklós Székely, János Szemenyei, Orsi Tóth, Kata Wéber, Sándor Zsótér



production Proton Cinema + Theater
coproduction Festival d'Avignon, Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brusels), Trafó House of Contemporary Arts (Budapest), Malta Festival Poznan, Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), RomaEuropa Festival 2012

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