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Veteran pro-government actor calls for dialogue

August 28th, 2020

Amidst what is widely seen as a pro-government takeover of the main Theatre and Film Academy from liberal-minded academic staff, a leading conservative actor deplores the lack of dialogue during the restructuring of the institution.

On Válasz, well known veteran actor Péter Blaskó takes up the defence of theatre director Gábor Székely, who resigned from the Theatre and Film University in protest against the changes introduced and was then reminded by the pro-government press of a speech he gave at the Hungarian Socialist Workers (Communist) Party congress 45 years ago, about  the role of theatres in forging ‘the new, socialist personality’.(For the institutional reform of the UTF and its political implications see BudaPost August 5 and 17). Blaskó blasts DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, who threatened if he ever returns to power to deprive of his wealth Attila Vidnyánszky, the director of the National Theatre, who was appointed chairman of the foundation that will run the Theatre and Film University in the future. At the same time, he also condemns Székely’s detractors. Artists should be judged by their oeuvre, rather than by the lip service they paid to those in power in another era, he suggests. And Székely’s work was extremely significant, he asserts. Moreover, he interprets Székely’s resignation as a justified warning that institutional reforms demanded prior consultation with the leading academic staff of the university.

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