From Easter to Midsummer’s night, Budapest and Hungary will become a celebratory meeting point for the theatrical world as 400 companies from 58 countries converge to perform in the 10th International Theatre Olympics.
Theodoros Terzopulos, Chairman of the International Committee of the Theatre Olympics, said, “Hungary, with its great and far-reaching theatrical traditions, has been taking an active part in the global developments in the field of theatre practice and theory.
Budapest, a beautiful and unique monument of the world’s cultural heritage, is an international cultural metropolis ready to build bridges connecting other theatrical traditions. Well-staffed with talented and experienced artistic, technical and administrative experts, the National Theatre is the institutional hub of Hungarian theatre that is as open to avant-garde international theatrical proposals as it is to upholding the principles of tradition.
Thus it is well-placed to build new bridges between different schools and stage languages. In this day and age when homogenization of the theatre is the prevailing trend, the National Theatre, whose motto is reconciliation and New Humanism, embraces diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism.”
The slogan of the 2023 Theatre Olympics comes from The Tragedy of Man by Imre Madách: “O Man, strive on, strive on, have faith; and trust!” One of the Hungary’s greatest dramatists, born 200 years ago in 1823, the celebration of his bicentenary will be a centre point of the Hungarian Theatre Olympics.
Imre Madách’s, The Tragedy of Man, a masterpiece comparable to Goethe’s Faust, premiered 140 years ago. The work will be at the centre of special exhibition at the National Theater of Hungary, with footage and photographs as well as visual design from award-winning set designer Mira János providing theatrical framework. Madách’s work will be presented throughout the festival in conferences and new books, culminating in a large-scale, international performance. Theatre school teams from all over the world will perform excerpts from The Tragedy of Man, and then put them together in an epic joint production, performed in dozens of languages, for the festival closing ceremony on 23rd June.
Representing the UK will be renowned theatre companies Complicité and Cheek by Jowl. Joining them are UK favourites such as Belgium’s Peeping Tom alongside a Ukrainian Caligula, a Chinese Faust and an Indian Macbeth. There will be a parade of giant puppets down the streets to open a two week programme of worldwide puppetry work in May, traditional Hungarian dance alongside ballet and contemporary.