A love story in times of crisis
27 February 2016
Ferenc Molnár was one of the greatest Hungarian authors of his time. As a Hungarian Jew, he emigrated from Budapest to the United States before World War II and there took American citizenship. His dramas The Swan, The Guardsman and Liliom have been adapted into musicals and screenplays.
The play Liliom (1909), considered to be one of his best works, is about a wish or yearning that surpasses modest life circumstances and leads one towards the fulfilment of their dreams. Liliom is a character beyond any kind of mediocrity, for he uncompromisingly follows his dreams, regardless of the consequences. Despite a dreary life situation, he wishes to lead an exciting, full life, worthy of a human being, with his girlfriend Julie. He believes it is possible to work not only for survival, but above all for love. Liliom and Julie do not give in to the conformist lifestyle most people lead and they also accept the consequences of their actions.
The world of Liliom stunningly resembles the world around us, where people often do not let themselves dream or protest against the socio-political circumstances. In other words, this staging of Liliom is marked by a critical view of the post-socialist transition society.