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English Language Theatre in Hungary

theatreOne of the things I love most about Hungary is how accessible the culture is, especially the theatre. I remember my parents shelling out 80 USD a ticket to take my brother and I to see The Nutcracker in Boston for seats in the rafters behind a pillar. In Hungary, one can usually get excellent seats at most shows for between 1000-2500 HUF (5-12 USD). But what if you do not speak Hungarian? Several English language theatre troupes perform regularly at various venues.

The Merlin Theatre
 is the main venue in Budapest for English-language theatre with their English Mondays and Wednesdays Programme. The Merlin showcases both local and visiting theatre companies, and I have caught several good productions here over the years. In the near future, Merlin will be featuring  a dinner theatre production of Edgar Allan Poe's "The System of Dr. Pagan" on April 6; and the Scallabouche Company's The Naked Impro Show on April 30th.

english language theater budapest
The Scallabouche Company has been performing in Budapest since 1998. The troupe features both local and expat actors, including: Deák Tamás, Dióssi Gábor, Andrew Hefler, Alexis Latham, Ben O'brien, Ruszina Szabolcs, Szalontay Tünde and Szentes Kata. "Using improvisation in more and more of our shows we want to find out how long can you stretch a moment, how ambiguous can a moment be before an audience disengages and how long does it take for them to decide what the story is." Their 2011 schedule includes productions of:

The Madhouse Theatre Company formed in 2000 with John Fenner, is now primarily comprised of Mike Kelly and Matt Devere - but often includes other actors and actresses such as Sophie Thompson and Sylvia Llewelyn. Madhouse will perform "Pornography"  on April 11, and "Arthur, Part One - The Legend Begins" on April 20 and 27 at the Merlin. "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)" may be seen on May 18, 21, 27 at the Nemzeti Színház (National Theatre) - now in its tenth season! Dates and venues for "One Set To Love" and "Stones in His Pockets" have yet to be announced.

Actress and Funzine
editor Sophie Thompson along with Mark Bubno, drummer with the Rorschach Band have also been collaborating on some English language plays lately, including "The System of Doctor Pagan" (see above) and February's successful "Talk About Love" put on at Smiley's to celbrate Valentine's Day.

Formed in 2007,
Confuse-a-Cat Ltd. sponsored by the American Corner at Debrecen University put on two successful productions at Treehugger Dan's last year; "The War Room," an adaptation of Dr. Strangelove; and Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story." This wholly Hungarian group of students chose the company's name as a tribute to the original title of one of Monty Python's sketches in which the actors cheer up a melancholic cat. Confuse-A-Cat regards everyone in the audience as melancholic cats. There is no programme available yet for 2011. They also stage plays in Debrecen and Veszprem.