SHADOW OF HEROES mixes Ardrey's storytelling flare with a documentary theater style to make a drama both passionately human and politically revelatory. In a Budapest safe house in 1944, the eve of the Nazis' defeat, Communist resistance leader Lászlo Rajk waits with his trusted deputy János Kádár for his wife Julia, who brings instructions from the approaching Russian liberators. From here, the play tells the entwined personal stories of these three fighters as they continue to struggle to create a new future for a broken country, right up to its occupation by the Soviets in 1956. Directed by Moscow, an internally fractious central committee elevates Kádár from committed, humble worker to Hungarian premier, while his former friends the Rajks are both denounced and imprisoned. Lászlo is executed for treason, but his persistent popularity induces the state to rehabilitate him, culminating in a state funeral and his "re-burial." As a result, Julia becomes a newly minted folk-hero: the inspiration for a national rebellion. The Soviets respond with tanks.
Friday, 09 November, 2018
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