A rigid political system on the verge of collapse. The love between a painter who is regarded with suspicion by the authorities and an acclaimed singer and state artist. A political prisoner who managed to escape from the high-security prison in the capital city and is now hiding out in the painter’s house. A chief of police in a tight spot, who uses the political and erotic tensions between the unlike lovers to poison their relationship with lies, suspicion and betrayal. Victorien Sardou’s successful play, which was written in the mid-19th century (and which Puccini had reworked into a libretto), is a thriller and a cock-and-bull story, a witty drawing-room play and a highly expressive drama about love and betrayal, lofty goals and dirty tricks. Author Kata Wéber and director Kornél Mundruczó, both from Budapest, have rewritten the play for our present day. For them, it is a drama about art under the conditions of political repression and the essence of their experiences as artists under two regimes.