Hungarian National Theater

Hungarian National Theater

 

(Nemzeti Színház), a dramatic theater in Budapest. Opened in 1837. Initially it was known as the Pesti Magyar Színház; after 1840 it was called the National Theater. (Until 1884 its repertoire included dramatic and operatic shows.) The theater’s troupe included the best Hungarian actors—R. Déryné, K. Megyery, Z. Szentpétery, and R. Laborfalvy—who developed the dramatic traditions of national theatrical art. During the period of the Revolution of 1848-49, the theater was close to the liberation movement. (Many actors participated directly in the liberation struggle.) The actors of this period included M. Lendvay and G. Egressy. In the 1860’s—the period when the theater was managed by the playwright E. Szigligeti—works of national dramaturgy were staged, and the realistic orientation in acting was consolidated. In the 1870’s the theater was led by E. Paulay, one of the leading Hungarian directors, who staged plays by M. Vörösmarty and I. Madách, as well as the works of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, and others. Paulay’s leadership contributed to the formation of the art of the outstanding tragic actress M. Jászai. After World War I, the director S. Hevesy and the actors Á. Ódry, G. Bajor, and others worked in the theater. Their creative work contributed to the revival of national traditions. A new upsurge in the activity of the Hungarian National Theater began after the establishment of the popular regime (1945). The theater was led by T. Major and E. Geliért. The most significant productions of the 1950’s included Bánk Bán by Katona, Othello and Richard III by Shakespeare, and Smoky Sky by Darvas. Over the years, the theater’s troupe has included the actors A. Somlay, E. Somogyi, A. Tekes, I. Apáthy, J. Timar, M. Ráttkai, M. Lukács, F. Bessenyei, Z. Várkonyi, S. Balázs, M. Töröcsik, and I. Sinkovits.

REFERENCES

Gershkovich, A. A. Sovremennyi vengerskii teatr. Moscow, 1963.
Pukánszkyné Kádár, Y. A Nemzeti Szinház Szízéves története, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1940.

A. A. GERSHKOVICH

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In the Hungarian National Theater, a Shakespeare company, he was ranked the top performer.

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