„Why, have you ever done anything for someone else? What are you doing to improve the health care system? To improve the treatment of patients?"


What are the general experiences about health care system? How embarrassing is it to just wait and wait when we are ill and vulnerable? What are our experiences or stereotypes on the Roma, addict or extremist youngsters that who might be our neighbors in a ward? Health care system has a lot of weak points and we all have at least one horror story about a quirky nurse, a grumpy doctor, a dirty ward or an insupportable patient. But have a look at this question from an other angle, let’s see what we can do for a change! Independent Theater Hungary’s play shows different viewpoints on health care as well as coexistence in general and draws attention to the importance of taking action.

directed by Rodrigó Balogh

dramaturge: Márton Illés

performed by Barbara Balázs, Irén Godó, Katalin Godó and Dániel Lakatos

movement director: Gyula Antal Horváth

visual: Alina Vincze, Péter Illés

„At the and of the story it’s revealed that the characters’ lives
are interconnected. The twist are a bit melodramatic, but it is a well-made,

well-planned, original play.”

Magyar Narancs

Shoddies directed by Rodrigó Balogh is a remarkably interesting mixture
of a social call and a theatre play. With four young amateur actors
he represents the most pressing issues of Hungarian society:
the situation of the Roma, drug addiction,

the far-right attitude and the condition of the healthcare system.”


Chameleon Girl

„We can truly understand our loved ones only if we do not simply accept what they say with their lips. Only if we really breath together and become truly one, as a chameleon.”


A helper is asking questions to a seemingly average teenage girl to understand, why she did what she did, why she wants to decide as she does. The girl recalls memories and experiences, not all of which are her own. We can learn about the challenges of grandparents, sisters, teachers, kindergarten peers and schoolmates through the story of the girl with a strange talent: she can assimilate with everything or everyone, reads the mind and memories of others and doesn’t want to follow anyone’s example. She wants to live her own life instead.

The superhero-story was devised based on the real-life stories of Roma youngsters participating in “Roma Heroes” workshop of Independent Theater. The play brings new light on the members of this colourful and conscious generation.


starring Emília Lovas

written by Illés Márton

English translation: Anna Lengyel

music: Szabolcs Endrődy and Vincent Ribault

costume: Kinga Gulyás

visual: Alina Vincze

assistant: Dorottya Mátravölgyi

directed by Tamás Szegedi

performance is 50 minutes

„The fascinating and witty story of the performance turns into a fairy tale.
And we all want it to come true.
Let the power of tales and personal hero stories beat regimes.”

Magyar Narancs

The hardest words

„What is the hardest word for you? What is the word that is hard to say and why?"

The monodrama displays both the vulnerability and the firm character of Jess. From her confession, we learn what challenges she has to face while fighting steadily for her goals – against her own family, the society or the authority.  

Sometimes civil disobedience is the only way to maintain our dignity, she believes.

Background and impact of the play 

Richard R O’Neill’s play, based on the story of Jess Smith, was first performet at Edinburgh Storytelling Festival in 2008. The issue of the centuries long persecution caught the attention of the Church of Scotland when one of the priests, Russel McLarty attended Jess Smith’s show at the festival. 

After the premiere, Jess met the church leaders and this experience initiated long-lasting changes in the church’s approach to Traveller’s history. When Jess Smith told her friend, the playwright Richard R. O’Neill about her plan to demand a statement of apology from the state, he offered to write a monologue for Jess – so this play is the demand itself. Although neither the state nor the first minister apologised to the Traveller communities for the violation of their human rights, on 25 May 2012 the Church of Scotland did so.


In the UK, the performance brought countrywide recognition for the artists, inspired the everyday work of health care and community development organisations, and encouraged Roma women to write.


written by: Richard R. O’Neill

translated by: Viktória Kondi
Hungarian translation supervised by: Ágnes Stemler

directed by: Rodrigó Balogh

screenplay by: Márton Illés

Jess Smith – Edina Dömök

Duration of the performance: 30 min

Duration of the conversation: 60 min

„… when we take part in a social experience where we watch something

together and then discuss it with strangers,
we become active in reception,
forming our opinion and communication, too.”