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Budapest theatre director ousted by nationalist party leader

31 October 2011

István Márta (left), artistic director of Budapest’s Új Színház repertory theatre for 13 years, has failed in his bid to continue in the post even though he was backed by six votes to two by a professional panel who had interviewed all of the applicants. Instead Budapest’s Mayor István Tarlós has appointed playwright and leader of the right-wing nationalists party MIÉP István Csurka who will run the theatre in tandem with actor György Dörner.

The Hungarian theatre society sent an open letter to mayor István Tarlós after he vetoed “a majority professional opinion” of 6-2 in favour of the present director István Márta, and chose Csurka and Dörner instead. The letter added that the decision has increased the theatrical community’s and voters’ beliefs that the only motivations of theatre appointments are political.

A petition has been set up calling for an end to political interference in Hungarian theatre. You can sign the petition at: http://hungarianwatch.wordpress.com/sign-the-petition/

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