Hungary to host Theatre Olympics in 2023

Hungary to host Theatre Olympics in 2023

This week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban received Greek and Russian directors Theodoros Terzopoulos and Valery Fokin, both leading members of the organising committee of the Theatre Olympics, a festival that has brought together various theatrical cultures and schools for over a quarter of a century. Hungary has won the right to host the 2023 Theatre Olympics.

CULTURE OCTOBER 10. 2021 13:46

On Thursday, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban received Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos, founder of the Theatre Olympics, and Russian theatre director Valery Fokin, who arrived in Hungary for the 7th Madach International Theatre Meeting, as well as Attila Vidnyanszky, the director of the Hungarian National Theatre.

During the meeting, they reviewed the plans and preparations for the Theatre Olympics to take place in Budapest in 2023, the premier’s press chief told Hungary’s state news agency (MTI).

The Theatre Olympics were founded in 1994 on the initiative of Theodoros Terzopoulos. Its aim was to bring together different theatrical cultures and schools under the aegis of a festival, giving the professionals and their audiences alike a comprehensive view of the world’s theatrical heritage and contemporary theatrical trends. The event also provides a space for dialogue between creators and audiences, while the performances and professional forums offer an opportunity for theatrical companies to network and learn about each other’s cultural traditions. The event has a specific theme in focus and, despite the name, there will be no competition or prizes. The organisation has two administrative centres, one in Athens and the other in Japan.

Theodoros Terzopoulos announced in Budapest in January 2020 that Hungary had won the right to host the 10th Theatre Olympics in 2023. The event will take place on the 200th anniversary of Imre Madach’s birth, in conjunction with the National Theatre’s annual Madach International Theatre Meeting (MITEM).

The director of the National Theatre already announced that organising the Theatre Olympics in Hungary is a unique opportunity for Hungarian culture to showcase its world-class values from within and beyond the borders, and to strengthen its position from a diplomatic standpoint.

Commenting on the meeting, parliamentary and strategic state secretary Balazs Orban – who is also PM Orban’s political director – said that the Greek and the Russian director arrived in Hungary for the 7th Madach International Theatre Meeting. The Hungarian National Theatre has been organising this event since 2014, and its seven-year success story highlights both the outstanding quality of Hungarian theatre art and the international network of Hungary’s cultural diplomacy.

MITEM is a great opportunity for companies and performances from all over the world to enrich and enliven Hungary’s theatrical scene, and for foreign professionals to acquaint themselves with Hungarian performances and performers. This year’s meeting will feature 20 performances from 12 countries, as well as professional programs.

Both this event and the Theatre Olympics in two years’ time show that the theatre carries great intellectual and cultural significance in Hungary, something that is clearly visible by looking at the official figures.

The number of visits to the theatre has risen to an unprecedented level in the past ten years, from just under 4.6 million in 2010 to 8 million in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of performances has increased by 95 per cent in ten years.

This year, the government provides 16 billion forints (44.4 million euros) for supporting the operation of theatres, up 6 billion forints (16.6 million euros) from last year. The government provides an additional support fund of 1 billion forints (2.8 million euros) for the independent theatre sector, Balazs Orban added. From a budget of 14.5 billion forints (40.2 million euros), the upgrade of five theatres has been completed, while the renovation of eight more theatres is still under way, with an additional 32.5 billion forints (90.2 million euros) earmarked for the purpose.



Hungary, theatre, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Valery Fokin, viktor orban