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Áron Tamási

Shining Jeromos

'Beside honour, we are fighting for our living, because that's our due before God and man. But we are not beggars to be given alms! Alms to live on till tomorrow.'

Shining Jeromos, a stage play by Áron Tamási won the drama competition of the Transylvanian Fine Arts Guild and the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj in 1936. 

The jury had this to say in praise of the play: 'It is set in a Szekler village. At first glance, it is a realistic, even downright naturalistic story, but we soon get a sense of mystical powers working in the background. The characters are flesh and blood, yet they are more than merely real persons. Ordinary people are portrayed as representing the great ideas that shape our era, our individual destiny and collective history. (...) It is chock full of playful humour, abounding in human kindness and at the same time, in profound seriousness. The entire play is permeated by that peculiar scent of the Szekler landscape, the crisp air of the mountains. This play is genuine, primordial art, forging its own unique path, incomparable to anything else, and it could not have been created anywhere else but here, in our land.'

Jeromos the shrewd fraudster sees a million-dollar opportunity in luring the people of the Szekler village into the power base of politicians. Though the Szekler community is oppressed from all sides, tormented by crises and world wars, torn, fragile and fallible, it does not yield to temptation. 'We have not lost our soul!' says Gáspár the young Szekler lad who sets an example for his embittered father by refusing to serve the man bent on corrupting the community. Even after the greatest storm, 'the heart seeks to rejoice and the soil wants to bear fruit'. 

- This is a profoundly serious subject in our world of suffering, but Tamási laces his play with such humour and his heroes are so lovable even in their fallibility that somehow the whole thing turns into a fairy tale. And this 'lovely, sad-and-funny village is finally flooded by morning light', says director Eszter Márkó.

Following its initial 1936 premiere in Cluj, the National Theatre premiered Shining Jeromos in 1939 and is staging it again for the memorial year that marks the 125th anniversary of Áron Tamási's birth.



12 August 2022 • Gyula Castle Theatre | 3 September 2022 • Hilda Gobbi Stage

A joint National Theatre and Gyula Castle Theatre production

02 September 2022

Thursday, 21 March 07:00 p.m.

Gobbi Hilda Stage