Hungarian puppet theatre. The Budapest Bábszínház was founded in 1992 in the capital of Hungary after the dissolving that year of the Állami Bábszínház (State Puppet Theatre). Under the leadership of its artistic director János Meczner (b.1944), the theatre followed in the tradition of its precursor, Állami Bábszínház, playing the most important plays of the earlier repertoire (Béla Bartók’s and Igor Stravinsky’s ballets, Zoltán Kodály’s Háry János, and certain evergreens that continue to be successful children’s theatre), while at the same time researching new possibilities of contemporary puppetry.

Among the theatre’s permanent staff are directors Géza Balogh (b.1936), Pál Lengyel (b.1943 in Diósgyőr) and Gyula Urbán (b.1938 in Székesfehérvár), and designers Imre Ambrus (b.1936 in Gyergyófalu) and Margit Balla (b.1947 in Budapest). These experienced artists are joined by the younger generation of Hungarian puppet theatre professionals as well as the most important and renowned personalities of Hungarian dramatic and musical theatre.

Among the theatre’s hallmark performances are Mozart’s A varázsfuvola (The Magic Flute, 1995), Claude Debussy’s Szent Sebestyén vértanúsága (The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, 1996), Modest Mussorgsky’s Egy kiállítás képei (Pictures at an Exhibition, 1993, 2003), Imre Madách’s Az ember tragédiája (The Tragedy of Man, 1999), and Béla Bartók’s A kékszakállú herceg vára (Bluebeard’s Castle, 2004).

(See Hungary.)


  • Balogh, Géza, ed. Bábszínház, 1949-1999 [Puppet Theatre, 1949-1999]. With a study of Péter Molnár Gál. Budapest, 2000.