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Nyílik Fischer Iván lakásszínháza

The theatre in Iván Fischer’s apartment called FILC is opening on Sunday. The world-famous leader and conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra spent his childhood in an apartment on the third floor of the house at 27 Andrássy Street, where he has a lot of memories. From now on, this venue will regularly host theatrical performances.

The theatre’s opening performance will be Samuel Beckett’s one-act play, Krapp’s Last Tape, performed by Andor Lukáts and directed by László Babarczy. Afterwards, Andor Lukáts will also appear as a director, directing Tchekhov’s one-act play The Jubilee played by the final year students of The University of Theatre and Film Arts. We asked the founder of the new theatre about this endeavour.

- Why a theatre, why do you not open a concert venue at the place where you spent your childhood?

- There are a lot of small concert venues, whereas I am following the developments in the world of theatre with great concern. Small, alternative initiatives in particular are in dire straits. In spite of the fact that this is a magnificent, flourishing performing art in Budapest and there are plenty of creative artists, a large number of ideas are never realised due to the shortage of money. My small apartment theatre cannot do too much, but it can host one or two good productions. To be precise, this is not just an apartment theatre, the Hungarian name “lakászínház” demonstrates that music and musical performances are also welcome.

- Nevertheless, it is mainly a theatre, has this genre become so important in your life?

- It has always been important. This is a family tradition. My father worked as the music director of Vígszínház when he was young. In my childhood I heard a lot of stories from him about legendary actors such as Gyula Hegedűs, Irén Varsányi, Gyula Csortos. I am sure he would be happy to learn that his apartment now functions as a theatre.

- How will such a busy artist who works abroad a lot be able to run a theatre in Budapest?

- This will be done by others for me, I will be happy if I can see a few performances. We will of course discuss the programme, but I’ll not deal with the details.

- How will you choose the plays to be performed? Why did you choose Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape to be the first?

- I hold Andor Lukáts in high regard and I would like his portrait to be the first in the series of performances. Now he will perform a one-act play by Beckett, then we will see a play with young actors directed by him, and he is also planning to write a play.

- What is the financial background of this venture?

- Some years ago I established the non-profit Fischer Iván Foundation from my own savings, which will cover the operational costs. The venue can host 25 people, and the revenues from ticket sales will have to cover the costs of the performances. No tickets will be given away free of charge. We will not apply for public funding because theatres are only allocated a rather modest amount anyway; we do not want to appear as new applicants. We are grateful for any private financial support, and the details can be found on the fischerlakas.hu website.

Gyula Balogh / Népszava