Róbert Alföldi about the events at the National Theatre: Was there a real investigation?
It will be forgotten, and who knows how much money the colleagues will receive then.
The former theatre director believes there will be no consequences following the November accident.
Júlia Szász and Lajos Ottó Horváth suffered an accident during the National Theatre's performance of _Romeo and Juliet_ on November 10, when they fell several meters from a set piece. The actor injured one of his hands, while the actress sustained injuries to her leg and ribs. Neither of them has been able to return to the stage since. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing, and until a conclusion is reached, the actors cannot receive any compensation. Following the accident, the theatre's director, Attila Vidnyánszky, submitted his resignation but later retracted it when an internal inquiry found that no single-party responsibility could be established.
Robert Alföldi, a previous director of the National Theatre, spoke about the theatre accident during his Friday night performance at the István Hankó Cultural Center in Gyömrő, reviewed by Blikk. The award-winning Hungarian actor and director condemns Vidnyánszky's behavior in relation to the accident.
"I am this naive. I believed he was serious about resigning. I didn't think it was all premeditated, concocted: to resign and then have everyone say, 'oh no, please stay,' and then he says he can't be done without, sacrifices himself, and comes back. Is this manly? Is this gutsy? Is this honest? Is this Hungarian? Does this show backbone?"
The former theatre director explained that stage sets must undergo a multi-stage inspection process. After the plan is approved, the director discusses it with the artistic, technical, and economic leadership to see whether there are sufficient funds, time, and technical feasibility. If the professionals approve, then production can begin. The completed set, once constructed on stage, must be accepted by the director, the technical leader, the stage manager, and a safety officer; everything must be recorded in writing. On this document, legally, the director is the highest authority, but in practice, it is the technical leader since they are the specialist. Alföldi understands that in the case of the _Romeo and Juliet_ set, the signature of the technical leader was missing.
"We all, who have worked there, thought that the technical manager would be the one to shoulder the blame. I worked with the same person, and when I told him that this is how the set will be, he said, 'okay, you can do it, you're the director, but what happens if someone falls off?' To which I replied, 'well, then it shouldn't be that way.'"
"A severe accident like this would not have occurred under my direction, at most a minor one," the actor-director revealed, before also sharing his opinion on the lack of compensation to date.
"After all this, the director has the audacity to declare that the actors need to learn how to use the set. And a few days ago, it turns out that they have not spoken with the actor, who has big questions on how he will ever be able to use his hand, and they haven't received a penny yet."
"And I don't know if that girl (Júlia Szász – the editor) will ever be in a mental state to return to the stage at any time. I think Giottó (Ottó Horváth – the editor) will probably be able to go back, but it's another question what will happen with his hand," Alföldi expressed, who suspects that the investigation into the matter is not being conducted as thoroughly as expected.
"Sorry! Was there a real investigation? Let's start with the fact that the set was immediately taken down, and I believe that probably nothing will happen. It will be forgotten, and who knows how much money these unfortunate colleagues will end up with."