Member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe since June 2015, Vígszínház is one of the finest examples of theatre buildings designed by Fellner and Helmer, whose 19th century “new-standard theatres” can be found scattered across central Europe. The company residing within its walls has played to packed houses from the moment of its inauguration. It was the cradle of modern acting, and of 20th century middle-class drama, but it introduced light French comedies as well as English social satires to the Hungarian audiences.
Founded in 1896 as one of the most prestigious drama theatres in Hungary, the Vígszínház is still considered as one of the most important cultural Hungarian institutions. With its three venues and total number of 1700 seats, the Vígszínház has been faithful to its traditions, achievements, values and popularity, as well as the requirements of the 21st century. It is an art theatre with a strong and balanced company which performs classical and contemporary Hungarian and foreign plays of a wide range of genres and types. Sensitive to social problems, opened to other forms of art and considerate to its audience, its company strives to create a colourful, exciting and attractive repertoire.
While the Vígszínház has been touring all over the world, the theatre has had a long tradition of hosting famous foreign productions and internationally acclaimed artists, such as Pina Bausch, Robert Wilson, Claus Peymann, Peter Brook, Michael Thalheimer, Maurice Béjart, the National Theatre of Cluj, the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv.
The Vígszínház's international strategy is based on the strong belief that dialogue and cooperation between different theatre cultures and traditions may create a European theatre community, united in and enriched through its cultural diversity, which might help us to discover innovative artistic forms and practical methods for making theatre.
The UTE - Union des Théâtres de l'Europe
The Union des Théâtres de l’Europe (UTE) is an alliance of European theatres, legally headquartered in France. It operates on a European scale, thanks to a decentralized structure made of an executive office in Germany, and nomadic offices in Austria, the Czech Republic and Greece.
Regarded as one of the most influential theatre associations in Europe, the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe is also deeply rooted in the history of European theatre. Its origins go back thirty-one years ago, when three theatres in Italy, France and Spain decided to form an international alliance called “Théâtres de l’Europe/Teatri d’Europa”. More and more theatres became interested in this exchange, and in 1990 the French Minister of Culture Jack Lang and the director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano Giorgio Strehler founded the “Union des Théâtres de l’Europe” on this basis. First centred on a programme of regular festivals with the aim to unite East and West, the Union has developed into an alliance of European theatres combining artistic and political goals, and using existing artistic platforms in order to strengthen professional exchange and promote an open Europe of culture.
Today, the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe unites more than forty members, amongst which eighteen major theatres with national and international influence from all over Europe and beyond. The theatres from Porto, Moscow, Bochum, Tel Aviv, Athens, Cluj, Reims, Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest, Stuttgart, Luxemburg, Sofia, Milan, Prague, Thessaloniki, Rome and Budapest, completed with personal and associated members from France, Hungary, Poland and Georgia are represented in seventeen countries. Their goal is to collaborate on an international level and strengthen the role and value of European public theatres. Together they represent an area that increasingly encompasses the entire European continent and even transcends it with members in Israel, Palestine and partner-artists in various Arab countries.
With more than 10,000 performances and 3 million spectators a year, the UTE member theatres offer a wide range of events, including productions, world premieres of new drama, projects on current political issues, cooperation between various international festivals, conferences on important political and artistic topics, round-tables with artists, managers and politicians intended to attract and include a broader audience, projects with young artists and young audiences, masterclasses, literary and academic publications and think tanks for the development of new working strategies.
Elected Cultural Ambassador by the EU Commission in 2012, head of an important theatre project on different forms of terrorism, including Israeli, Norwegian, German, French and Serbian theatres, and elected as the most significant theatre network to be supported by the European Commission (CONFLICT ZONES | ZONES DE CONFLIT), the UTE sees its mission in an artistic, political and societal sphere. Its activities go along three major axes: the development of international and transnational collaborations, the maintenance and transmission of Europe’s cultural heritage, focusing on its appropriation by young artists, and the questioning, development and renewal of this heritage through groundbreaking artistic projects, but also political projects, all of which offer a critical reflection on today’s society.
Workshop with Armin Petras
Armin Petras is coming to the Vígszínház in June 2016 to hold a workshop for the actors of the theatre. As part of the workshop Armin Petras creates an adaptation of György Dragomán’s recent novel The Bone Fire.
György Dragomán’s book examines important and thought-provoking questions. What do we do when a country is liberated? Will we be relieved or will we be haunted by our past? The project is created in a co-production of the Comedy Theatre - the Schauspiel Stuttgart - the Staatsschauspiel Dresden - the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj and Sibiu Theatre.
The Paul street boys
by László Dés - Péter Geszti - Krisztián Grecsó
The rehearsals of this musical play, based on Ferenc Molnár’s novel, The Paul street boys has already started in Vígszínház.
This novel is one of the most poignant writing in the Hungarian literature. Every generation discovers it again and again. The grund has become our common thinking, what is ours, as the actors sung one of the full of emotional, full of melody soundtrack in the musical by Dés – Geszti – Grecsó. Our hope that Dés-Geszti authors and the crew of the theatre and László Marton’s magnificent direction could repeat the succes of the running since decades show The Jungle Book with this new production.
by Moliére – Brecht
The rehearsals of Moliére’s classic masterpiece has just started. The play will be directed by Dániel D. Kovács, in the Pesti Színház.
Don Juan is searching for the diversity of the unique, and searching for the finite in the infinite. In deed and in thought, he dares something that no one else. He is striving obsessively to higher and higher goals. He is curious about what he can allow to himself, how far he can go, and where is the certain extent. The sky will punish you because of it – people say. Yes, course, I’ll belive, when I see – so he says.
Earthquake in London
by Mike Bartlett
a play starring | Éva Bata, Zsuzsa Járó, Csenge Szilágyi and more
directed by | Enikő Eszenyi
Three girls, three sisters. Sarah, a famous politician who is being blackmailed, Freya, a teacher who is expecting a child and Jasmine, a rebellious university student, who works as a stripper at night. Their father, Robert Crannock, a well-known climate researcher, predicts a dark future for our planet, and he passes on this pessimism to his daughters. The three girls fight an enduring battle for love and a happier future, but their lives keep getting more and more chaotic. What kind of a life awaits us here on Earth? What future will our offspring have? The girls seek the answers to these questions as each of them finds a different way to be happy. This new contemporary British play tells us about the lives of these people in an incredibly exciting way, the plot rich with unexpected twists, as it discusses the big issues of life with lots of humour and music.
premiere | 1. April 2016 | Vígszínház
Vígszínház – 120-years-young
It’s hard to believe that the always young and dynamic Vígszinház is starting its 120th season! Founded in 1896 it has been one of the most prestigious dramatic theatres in Hungary ever since. Vígszínház is a people’s theatre and an art theatre at the same time, with a standard company of actors, performing classic and contemporary, foreign and Hungarian plays of a wide range of genres.
The Vígszínház is one of the finest examples of theatre buildings designed by Fellner and Helmer, whose 19th century "new-standard theatres" can be found scattered across central Europe. Our continuing ambition is to provide our viewers with quality entertainment and unforgettable theatrical experiences!