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Radnóti Miklós Theatre

alias Vidám Színpad (1942-44), Pódium Kabaré ( 1945-1950), Állami Faluszínház (1955-57), Irodalmi Színpad (1957-1976), Radnóti Miklós
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1988 | Festive Opening

People

György Fejér |architect
Artúr Mellinger |architect

History

Architectural description

The theatre is located in a six-storey apartment house facing the Nagymező Street; a building articulated with three opening axes. The facade plane emerges from the facade faced to the street in the width of the middle opening axle. This projection on the fifth floor functions as a balcony. The entrance portal of the theatre is on the ground floor.

The Radnóti Theatre belongs to the smaller theatres in the downtown. The auditorium is axial and linearly confronted, on the ground floor 11 rows of seats, on the first floor balcony 5 rows of seats and on the side of the auditorium two side boxes can be found.

 

History

The building was built following the plans of Artúr Mellinger in 1937, initially for the purposes of a cinema, at the ground floor of a seven storey house. A coffee house called Claridge was furnished in the inner court of the building, designed by György Fejér, which later became the Vidám Színpad (Merry Stage) and finally the Radnóti Theatre.

Between 1942-1944 comedy shows were performed here with the leadership of Sárossy Szüle Mihály. During this time the theatre was named Vidám Színpad. From March 1945 the Pódium cabaret worked here lead by Sándor Pethes and István Békeffy. Between 1950-1955 the venue was used for different purposes: Kodály Culture House, Gábor Egressy Stage. In 1955 the National Village Theatre (Állami Faluszínház) took possession of the building for two years and in 1957 the Literary Theatre (Irodalmi Színpad) started to work here, lead by Ferenc Szendrő. On these evenings young poets got the chance to introduce themselves to the larger public and emphasis was also put on the popularization of our “befriended nations’” literature.

In 1965 the theatre was reconstructed based on the designs of KÖZTI, with András Egyházi as the architect and György Blanár the theatre technical designer. A new two storey wing was built above the stage, a light control box furnished and some new theatre technology items purchased. The building was closed in 1973 and serious renovations followed between 1974-1976. The theatre was enlarged towards the Népköztársaság street, with new dressing rooms, green room, reception etc. The façade was also transformed, just as the foyer and the auditorium. New stage machinery and technology was built in and the audience toilets were moved to the basement. The architect of the reconstruction was ÉVITERV, comprising the following architects: J. Kamarás, E. Hepke (interior), E. Muzsi (mechanics), L. Strack (stage technology). After the reconstruction the venue continued to work as Radnóti Miklós Stage (Radnóti Miklós Színpad). In 1976, with the leadership of Emil Keres the theatre became the home of poetry performing, and unconventional literature classes were also held here. In 1985 Bálint András took over the leadership, changing the name to Radnóti Miklós Színház (Radnóti Miklós Theatre), which also signalled a sort of profile change.

Some transformations also followed. Architect Péter Mátrai redesigned the foyer changing the earlier pine covering, ceramic decorations and “Luxalon” suspended ceiling characteristic to the early eighties with MDF panel, mirrors, steel pipes and profile iron in a puritan manner using three colours: umbra, platinum and smoke gray. Halogen spots were installed for the lighting.

Director András Bálint partly continued the tradition to organize poetry evening, sometimes presenting literary magazines, the Nyílt Műhely (Open Workshop) drama readings were meant to advertise contemporary literature. Its present day company is quite small, therefore guest artists are regularly invited to given productions. During the years a stable audience was formed, composed mainly of young people and intellectuals, the members of the theatre’s Friends Circle (Baráti Kör) purchase several tickets a month. In the last years to the increasing popularity the theatre can pride with serious professional acknowledgment, receiving numerous prestigious prizes. The most outstanding performances were Háztűznéző (D: Péter Valló), Uncle Ványa (D: Péter Valló), Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf (Péter Gothár), The cripple (Péter Gothár), Medea (D: Sándor Zsótér) and Henry IV (D: Stefano de Luca). In the past years some gradual reconstructions were made in the foyer, the secretary and other offices, the green room and the dressing rooms.  

 

 

 

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