Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Premiere at 05.04.2024.

You won’t believe what’s about to unfold on Trafós Main Stage! 
Lines like this one are designed to take control of our focus on the internet. We’re bombarded with them from every angle while algorithms geared at our most primal emotions drive us to keep burning through a seemingly infinite stream of content – all to keep us glued to a handful of specific online platforms for as long as possible. Our attention has become the oil of the 21st century, and every single second of it is fought over – not only by cosmetics advertisements and holiday photos but by mass-produced political messages and social campaigns too. Our perception of reality is conditioned by those who can get their message across the most piercing way.

Through the personal stories of experts as performers, Some Viewers May Find This Distracting is a documentary theatre piece that focuses on the hidden mechanisms of the online realm, how we can find a voice in it, and the commodification of attention. All this is done through the medium of theatre, where the audience is granted the rare luxury of focusing on one thing only: events that unfold on an empty stage.

Drawing on Bertolt Brecht’s play ‘Die Maßnahme’ (The Measures Taken), the potrayed experiences of a journalist, a TikTok influencer, an Instagram blogger, a podcaster, an actor and an activist invite us to reflect on what it means to be an agitator of our time, fighting for a more just society within the online realm that was once about freedom and the accessibility of information and has since become the playground of Big Tech. On what terms can an idea be granted visibility under these circumstances? In what way is global capitalism moulding the discourse of an Eastern European autocracy? Can the hegemons of the internet be tackled, outsmarted – and if so, how? Staying true to the spirit of Brecht, we attempt to remind the audience of the simple truth that our perception of reality can be altered, especially in the age of the internet. 

Photos: Judit Horváth

„The excellent and proportional application of equally weighed utterances and other devices of theatre make us feel involved in the discourse, and even though we laugh at the absurdity of the depicted situations at many times, our fists are continuously clenched due to experiencing how easily our perceptions can be tricked.”
(Orsolya Karafiáth, Magyar Narancs)

„Kelemen has formulated his message in many different genres with different dramaturgical structures through his now decade-long career, but documentarist approach to the topic, the blending of reality and fiction, and some kind of public (could also be called political) endeavour characterises all his works. It goes without saying that these traits can be detected in this performance as well. In fact, Some Viewers May Find This Distracting is  a string of five case studies.”
(István Nánay, Revizor)

„I’m struck by how powerful theatre can still be as an arena for critical thinking and political awareness in Brecht’s spirit.”
(Mariken Lauvstad, Klassekampen, NO)

„Brecht’s idea that theatre can show that reality isn’t fixed but can be changed has been affecting me more and more. This knowledge by the way is evident for some – for example for people who have sufficient financial capital to shape reality to their needs. Brecht wants to lead the spectators to a sort of liberating self-awareness, and mobilise those, who are usually left out of this reshaping of reality.”
(Kristóf Kelemen, 444)

Daniel Baki 
Orsolya Jeney
Kristóf Kelemen
Alexandra Köves
Szilvi Német 
Samu Seres

Music: Natalie Szende
Mastering: Roland Nagy
Lights: Bala Szabon
Video design: Tamás Páll
Technical Manager: Tibor Kiefer 
English translation: Gabriella Gál
Surtitles: Csendike Somogyvári
Video documentation: László Dinea
Assistant Director: Anita Totobé, Róza Kereszty
Production Manager: Anita Totobé
Creative Consultant: Zsófia Tamara Vadas
Dramaturg & Consultant: Tímea Török 
Director: Kristóf Kelemen

The production was realized in the framework of the Staféta Program of the Municipality of Budapest.
Coproducers: Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, FÜGE Productions