The rebirth of the variety genre in Budapest

Friday, 12 January 2018

The rebirth of the variety genre in Budapest

The 12th Budapest International Circus Festival offers programs all through the city for the fans of classic and modern circus, as well those who like all related arts with. On the 11th of January 2018, at 19:00 in Castle Garden Bazaar the Castle Garden Variety show was held that featured variety productions which was neglected during the last two decades in our country.

The line was always blurred between circus and variety; there were many locations also in Budapest –Maxim Varieté, Savoy, Kék Macska, Béke Orpheum, Keringő, Nirvána bár, Tavasz bár – where the elite of the Hungarian and international circus professionals entertained the audience. Musical, dancing, singing, comedy and artist productions are quite successful with all the theatres full in Western countries, which unfortunately went out of fashion in Hungary. This jaunty quality entertainment was brought back with lots of award winning artists by the spiritual father of the evening, István Vásárhelyi.

Illusionist Ferenc Kőhalmi (Illusionist European Championship, bronze award) was the perfect choice for the show, because his illusionist acts did not only involve the audience, but his witty and humorous speeches between the performances would have filled an all night long show that I would already like to watch any time. Illusionist Ferenc Galambos (Illusionist World Championship, 3rd place) amazed the audience with micro-magician tricks – or close small tricks –, who could not even catch their breath before Rob Alton, star of Cirque du Soleil, world class champion of flatland BMX entered the stage with an incredibly energetic production. After the BMX production full of bold and cool elements, Ferenc Kőhalmi entertained us with his card tricks that involved the audience. You must see Grand Prix Award-winner Csaba Méhes, since words cannot even describe his performance. The comedian and pantomime artist performed his ‘Die Forelle, trout quintet’ etude. I do not wish to use big words, but his performance was the peak of eurhythmics and performing art. He did not only use his voice for sound effects, but for singing as well, and his mimics, dance and pianist skills, as well as his masterful pantomime performance was rewarded with a lot of laughs and thunderous applause by the audience.

After the break, Sebastian and Krisztina, members of the circus dynasty of Richter and Eötvös Circus astonished the audience with their quick-change dance production, for which they won the Bronze Award of the International Circusfestival Ensedei, while Andrea Alton, Cirque du Demain Special Prize Award winner artist performed a magical aerial act straight from the circus.

Ferenc Galambos teaches a new trick to the audience in all his performances, which was a rope trick this time, and then he enchanted his astonished audience with an Indian sand trick. Csaba Méhes then presented a funny world play in the role of a fakir, then he showed the tricks of fakirs without tools, only using the traditional means of pantomime. The next production featured golden bodied titans thanks to the Bronze Clown Award-winner Golden Power power-lifting duo. Their spectacular productions based on strength, endurance, trust and co-operation, as one can expect from circus art.

An exceedingly entertaining evening closed with Csaba Méhes in the role of the conductor with the help of the audience. I hope that variety shows will have a place next to theatre and circus art, because I cannot remember when I saw such a cool and fun entertainment.

Zsuzsanna Szekáry

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