Pintér Béla

The Queen of the Cookies

The theme of domestic violence and ill-treatment of a small child is clearly enough shocking material, but it does not differ from other works by Béla Pintér. So far most-known production of The Peasant Opera, appreciated by Hungarian critics as the best of the season and visiting many festivals, is an every-day story inspired by contemporary opera and the tragic of folk ballads dealing with the theme of incest within a marriage of cousins, secret parenthood and murder of a new-born baby. It can be said that in almost all of his projects Pintér and his team examine Hungarian cultural heritage. The heritage, full of folk traditions, which they modify, disturb, correct and disenchant and at he same time they ask questions dealing with identity and nationality in today´s Europe.

“The Queen of the Cookies is Pintér´s darkest play, or if not the darkest one then surely the most dramatic one, and gives the least opportunities to laugh. Although he does not completely desert it – the spectator expects it (audibly). I suspect his audience that it already counts with the fact that it can, or it should, laugh. Well, and it laughs, even though in this case it has much less opportunities to it than ever before. There is a plenty of humour in the dialogues but the world outside is dark. We – same like the author – do not take this world as humorous as the world in the productions of The Peasant Opera or Gyévuska. We cannot freely laugh over the direct cruelty of The Queen of the Cookies. It is truth that none of Pintér´s previous laughs were cloudless, there was always something freezing in them. Now, however, there he stands, cap-a-pie dramatic Pintér. Again, we find ourselves in reality, like we did before the ´musical´ era of his work.”

Andrea Tompa, Színház, 2004

We don’t recommend this performance for people under the age of 14.