Ignas Šeinius. THE HUNCHBACK Premiere

  • Director


  • Duration

    1 h 10 min (one act)

  • Stage


  • Premiere date

    22 October, 2016


“The Hunchback” by Ignas Šeinius is the first modern Lithuanian novel, the construction of which is based on the tradition of psychological realism. The storyline of the novel revolves around a survival story, which is about love, national identity and patriotic activism. Main characters of the novel come with full life-stories, that can be traced back to their childhoods. Appearance and

outfits of characters are also outlined, even if it is done in short passages and intertwined with emotional reactions. A novelist who retains a panoramic view is not only interested in typical human characteristics but in a deeper individualisation: a hunchback miller is living in recluse in a stuffy room and reading Immanuel Kant’s writing. He is also creating a glider, declaring that human beings must create their own souls, and preserving the memories of his life as spiritual treasures.

The character of a reclusive individualist encompasses all the main trends of the literature of the period: naive idealism, dreamy sensitivity, and melancholic fragility. It protrays a person who draws himself away from everyday life and is full of inner beauty but at the same time is condemned to suffer the ultimate loss.

Vytautas Kubilius. History of the 20th Century Literature. Vilnius.: Alma litera, Lietuvių literatūros ir tautosakos institutas, 1996.


Script author and actor Arūnas Vozbutas: When I started writing the script, I knew it from the very beginning that my classmate actress Jurga Kalvaitytė would play Gundė. Later I met a young actor and director Paulius Markevičius, and I thought we could make a good team.

Olesis Hunchback is a guy who pauses in his mid-life so that he can have a better view of what he has done, to count the number of kilometres he has covered, to consider the pages he has read in his life-book. He stops to ponder which direction he should be taking now, what he should read,  what he should expect and what he shouldn’t, and furthermore, what he should just take for granted. Is it a victory or a loss? Olesis is tortured by questions why everything has been happening like this, is this fate decided by God?

When the novel came out, its author Ignas Šeinius was only 24. I was surprised by the author’s maturity and insight, by his ability to examine the fate of a man with “extensive life experience”. Šeinius was a good listener. I know that in his native town of Šeiniūnai there is a record of a hunchback miller by the name of Olesis, and the young Ignas has heard his story. While creating this performance, I was fascinated by the documentary details. The quest for national identity can be clearly perceived in the work, and it warms the readers’ hearts. It’s like a shirt that we can put on and then discuss other topics with the audience. This is the main aim of this performance.  


  • Author of adaptation — Arūnas VOZBUTAS
  • Director — Paulius MARKEVIČIUS



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