N. V. Gogol

Diary of a madman

Orlai Production, Füge, Maszk, Katona József Theatre / Budapest / HU

The main character of Gogol’s short story is the civil servant Poprishchin who one day decides to move out from a seemingly unbearable reality into his own imaginary world. The actor, Keresztes Tamás, and the director, Bodó Viktor, both agreed that this peculiar state can best be exhibited if the actor himself, similarly to Poprishchin, is the one who sets up his reality, the stage, surrounding himself with his own multiplying and modulating voices. Therefore Keresztes designs his own set which he uses not as a backdrop but, rather, as a partner. He then loops and distorts his voice live in order to be able to talk in polyphony to his shadows. The performance hence turns into a dilated consciousness of one mad (or creatively free) person, a fearsome and personal self-revelation, an unrestricted game.




Self-taught musician and composer, one of the most prominent actors of his generation. His critics often appreciate his unique and splendid movements, the many colours in his performance.

He started as a child actor in Debrecen and has never truly left the stage ever since. Currently he is a member of the Katona József Theatre. He has worked with the most significant directors of Hungarian theatre, such as Ascher Tamás, Bodó Viktor, Zsótér Sándor and Mundruczó Kornél.

He was awarded the Jászai Mari and Junior Prima Awards. In 2017, for his performance in the Diary of a Madman, he was named the best theatre artist of the year.




Internationally renowned director. He had been the founder and leader of Sputnik Shipping Company until the company disbanded. Today he mostly works in German speaking countries. His distinct directorial style combines elements of the grotesque and the lyrical. Humour and playfulness play critical roles in his performances. His works received several international awards, among which the Golden Mask Award, the highest rated theatrical prize in Russia.

He first worked together with Keresztes Tamás in his student years, then in professional circumstances, for example in Anamnesis, a coproduction of the Katona József Theatre and Sputnik Shipping Company.




The Katona József Theatre, with more than 100.000 spectators per season, is one of the most prominent and highly-estimated theatres in Hungary. Using modern and innovative methods and theatre language, it presents the problems and most important questions of our society in a way that is enjoyable also for a wider range of audience. One of the important elements of social dialogue is the conscious addressing of young audiences.


The Katona József Theatre, in its present-day form, came into being in 1982. Its members came from the former National Theatre, and started to work as an independent company at the Katona József Theatre. This new artistic team considered its important task, on the one hand, to be open, sensitive, and receptive to the new problems of Hungarian society, and to respond to these problems. On the other hand, they also believed it to be an important duty, instead of nurturing traditions, to find the theatrical tools and language with which one can articulate the problems raised by life.


The Katona József Theatre strives to enforce maximum literary sophistication, starting from the selection of dramas to be put on the repertoire, through the consistent rejection of commercial plays, all the way up to the preparation of translations and retranslations, and cooperation with translators. The Katona József Theater started its work as a realistic theatre in the 1980s (but even then not in the sense of narrowly understood stylistic realism, but in the comprehensive aesthetic sense of its relationship to reality). We consider it important that in the spirit of commitment to concrete reality, the playing style of our theatre should be as diverse, rich and open as possible.


After its foundation, the Katona József Színház was directed by two important directors, Gábor Székely and Gábor Zsámbéki. Between 1989 and 2011 Gábor Zsámbéki was its director, and since 2011 Gábor Máté has directed the Katona. Katona is a member of the MITOS 21 international theatre association. The Katona has worked with a fix, resident company of actors ever since its foundation. The members of the Hedda Gabler cast are all members of the company. 



Axentyij Ivanovics Popriscsin: Keresztes Tamás

Directed by: Bodó Viktor

Dramaturgy: Róbert Júlia

Assistant: Szakács Zsuzsi

Scenography: Keresztes Tamás

Graphic designer: Nagy Gergő

Psychology expert: Dr. Zalka Zsolt

Light Designer: Lohár Antal

Sound engineer: Belényesi Zoltán

Producer: Orlai Tibor

Special thanks: Juhász Nóra, Kákonyi Árpád, Szalai József, Szarvas Dávid


Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes, without intermission / 12+

the language of the performance: HU

subtitle: RO, EN

Premiere: 22th of July, 2016.