Mercedes Benz

Péter Esterházy

Mercedes Benz


(A two-part historical revue) An original play commissioned by the Slovak National Theatre Drama

The new SND building, Studio
7. 1. 2017 8. 1. 2017

Mercedes Benz is based on the Madách classical drama The Tragedy of Man, where at the beginning the Lord and Lucifer make a new bet on the legendary family of Hungarian history – the House of Esterházy. "Take their luck and I bet that even then they will not turn against me, or even betray good," says the Lord, like in a case of Job. Based on his words, the cunning Lucifer throws generations of princes and counts into Hungarian – and thus Slovak – history, and especially in the turbulent and bloody events of the twentieth century. He himself was in the role of the tempter or in other disguises, trying to break male members of the family in historical tests and sometimes he manages… In the individual episodes of this family chronicle – which are sometimes tragic and sometimes ironic comedy, the characters reveal the famous aristocratic family members and persons who were associated with it. Kurutz and Labanc, Turks and communists, Haydn and the secret police all appear on stage, yet from time to time the incredible, joyful and horrified laughter of Janis Joplin from the end of the iconic song Mercedes Benz is heard. Esterházy family history is equally a part of Hungarian history as it is Slovak history. During the play the characters sometimes ask what country they are in and the answer is: Here. A special journey to the distant and near past of Central Europe is spiced with the uniquely brilliant, paradoxical Esterházy verbal humor for which readers love his books all over the world today. Mercedes Benz was written by Péter Esterházy as an SND commission based on several narratives from the Harmonia caelestis novel. This alone suggests that the first performance may become one of the major cultural events of the upcoming theatre season.

Production Team

Directed by Roman Polák
Translated by Peter Kováč
Stage design Pavel Borák


Sir (ŠtB – Communist secret police agent, moderate revolutionary, Englishman) Martin Huba
Lucifer (advocate, Tóth Menyuš, another ŠtB - Communist secret police agent, revolutionary, Englishman) Robert Roth
Count - writer Ondrej Kovaľ
Father (of the Count) Ľuboš Kostelný
First mistress (mother, princess) Dominika Kavaschová
Second mistress (Vilma) Monika Potokárová
Idealist (and other roles) Ján Gallovič Ivan Vojtek