The largest puppet theatre in all of central Europe (and that’s saying something), the Budapest Puppet Theatre (BPT) in Budapest, Hungary is a shining example of an art form beloved the world over. Located on the famous Andrássy Avenue (designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002), the company is one of the most talented troupes of its kind on the continent, and the only organized company in Hungary.
BPT is well-known for its performances for kids, but they have a lot to offer for adults as well. The company performs exclusively in Hungarian, but the themes and stories are easily accessible to all. Since 1994, director John Meczner has taken the company in a musical direction, adapting many of the company’s shows to coincide with the music of Mozart, Bartok, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Ravel, Prokofiev and others, as well as music by and about Hungarians and Hungary’s history and culture.
The company’s repertoire also includes homegrown folk tales, Shakespeare, proverbial epics, contemporary children’s classics and, notably, an adaptation of Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by the great Sir Salman Rushdie (author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses), a novel that was written specifically for Rushdie’s firstborn son.
There are two main performance spaces at BPT. The large auditorium seats 400+, and a smaller Játszó-Tér (or “playground”), a black box of sorts, seats up to 100. Shows for kids are performed daily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Be sure to check BPT’s program for additional performances.
Photo courtesy of N_Amika via Flickr ~ used under CC-BY license