Wednesday, November 22, 2017

MythOff Replay - Our favorite myths on stage!

For the first time in Hungarian MythOff history, we ventured outside of Budapest, and visited another town, Veszprém, to bring myths and fun to a whole new audience! The idea came from a new member of our little myth-telling team, Cecília Stenszky, and everyone enthusiastically agreed - not only because traveling is fun, but also because a whole new audience means we get to dust off and tell again myths that we really enjoyed the first time. This is how MythOff Replay was born, giving us a night of telling our mythical favorites together.

The venue for the event was an Irish pub called Scorpion. They offered us their attic room, which was a perfect size for an audience of thirty, with comfortable armchairs, mood lighting, and no background noise. We had a full house of great people who drank beer and wine, ate delicious things, and whole-heartedly cheered us on. The evening's emcee was Szilvia Varga-Fogarasi, who made sure everything ran smoothly, and also created the golden lollipops that we received as prizes.

And now, the program:

Round one: Mythical hunters

The evening opened with Enikő Nagy's telling of the Mongolian legend of Gesar, and how he went all the way to the end of the world to find a magical bird that could cure the daughter of the Sun. Her elegant and poetic telling was followed by Erika Hajós, who brought us the Greek classic of Callisto and Arcas (Ursa Maior and Ursa Minor), and eloquently described the awful person Zeus is in that story.
Voting question: "If the famous Veszprém Zoo could bring either the magic bird, or the two bears, into its collection, which one would you rather see?"
Winner: Gesar's bird

Round two: Very strong myths

This round opened with our new storyteller, Cecília Stenszky, who brought us the myth of Thor and Utgard-Loki. It is an amusing story, and her humorous telling was appreciated by the audience. Next, I told the story of how the Irish Fianna fought the Witch of the Eastern Sea for the Cup of Victory (and, according to the photo on the right, went a little ethereal while doing it). It was even more fun to tell the second time around.
Voting question: "Which group of heroes would you like to add to the Hungarian Olympic team?"
Winner: The Fianna

Round three: Burning hot myths

First, László Gregus told us the Chinese myth of Yi the Heavenly Archer and the Ten Suns, in which the hero shoots nine suns down from the sky to save the world from burning. After him, Szilvia Varga-Fogarasi told the story of how Maui stole fire from his grandmother, and how he taught the people how to kindle it themselves. She told the tale with energy and humor fitting for a trickster tale.
Voting question: "Which hero would you ask to bring some fire for your fireplace for Christmas?"
Winner: Yi the Archer

Round four: Myths of endless creativity

This last round was opened by Júlia Lovranits, who brought us a Slovenian myth pieced together from various sources, about the god Kurent, the great flood, and the invention of wine. She even brought a cow bell to ring at the end of the story! The evening's program then concluded with Maja Bumberák's magical telling of Veinemoinen and Antero Vipunen, in which the Kalevala's old magician went searching for magical words. Her singing of the end of the story was a perfect conclusion for the night.
Voting question: "Where would you rather take your family - the Kalevala Adventure Park, or the Kurent Wine Tasting Tour?"
Winner: The Kalevala

We are really grateful for yet another amazing MythOff event, a very cool audience, and the chance to tell our favorite stories. We all hope we'll travel a lot more in the future!

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