In the autumn of 1908, the dailies reported the following event: a new Royal Orpheum was built in the heart of the capital, at Erzsébet Boulevard No. 31 and in the large block of buildings on Hársfa Street related to it. The construction was carried out according to the plans of the architect Bertalan Gaál, on behalf of Hermann Keleti and Oszkár Fodor. The opening took place on the 1st of October. The Royal Orpheum boasted the most modern theater equipment of the time, its auditorium provided entertainment for 789 people and a conservatory enriched the elegant milieu. Over the decades, the Royal Orpheum has grown into the capital’s outstanding variety theater, launched many great artists carreer, but world stars also performed on its stage, so the audience could celebrate Josephine Baker here as well.
In 1933, the Royal Revue Theater became the name of the institution, and in the same year, reconstruction work was carried out on the building under the leadership of Miklós Gyarmathy. By 1945, the name of the theater had been changed several times, but the point had not changed: renowned artists, creators, popular shows, and great successes. In 1951, the variety was christened Metropolitan Comedy Theater, which at that time had mainly major operettas and musical comedies. Two years later, however, a decision was made to demolish the once-shining building, as it no longer meets the requirements of the age. In their place, they dreamed of a new theater building.
The construction took eight years according to the plans of Oszkár Kaufmann. The most famous works of the architect, who worked mainly in Germany, include the Hebbel Theater in Berlin, the Volksbühne, and the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv. Oszkár Kaufmann lived in Budapest after the Second World War, when he prepared the plans for the Madách Theater, but he could no longer see its construction. The construction was completed according to the additional plans of engineers Pál Mináry and Ottó Fábry.
The four-storey building was again equipped with the most modern technology and the most modern conditions. Spectators were welcomed by spacious spaces, elegant interiors - Ruskica and Chinese marble, Venetian mosaics, walnut veneer and velvet armchairs, furthermore an air - conditioned auditorium for 903 people. The 19-foot-wide stage has embraced a revolving stage, four 12-meter-deep traps, and a four-story-high catwalk. The facade of the building was covered with 30 mm thick rock slabs of different sizes, its characteristic image was given by the group of sculptures of György Kerényi, József Somogyi and József Kovács.
The new building on the boulevard could be occupied by the Company of the Madách Theater. During the history of the Company, which began in 1919, they played in the auditoriums of the Academy of Music for a year. Then many years later, in 1940, they took possession of of the building at 6 Madách Square, which was built as a cinema. In 1951, the Company was placed in appropriate theater technical conditions in the building of today's Hungarian Theater in Hevesi Sándor Square. The company was able to move into its final home in the spring of 1961. The opening performance on March 24 was Brecht's drama The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by Otto Ádám, starring Irén Psota, Sándor Pécsi, Miklós Gábor and Hédi Váradi.
Oszkár Kaufmann's theater building was one of the greatest playgrounds for many decades, but it no longer met the stage technical, technical and artistic requirements of the time in the 1990s. So the Madách Theater building underwent a complete renovation in 1998-99 under the artistic direction of Imre Kerényi.
Since the reconstruction, the Madách Theater has been performing at three venues: the Main Stage, the Studio Stage and the Tolnay Salon.
The Main Stage has state-of-the-art technical equipment to meet all needs. Its air-conditioned auditorium - on the ground floor, balcony and first floor - can accommodate a total of 804 people. Its public spaces, which evoke a slightly Mediterranean atmosphere with their Carpathian Basin, Dalmatian and northern Italian patterns, are spacious and comfortable. The walls are covered with an artistic decorative painting based on the designs of the set designer Balázs Horesnyi. The ceiling of the auditorium is decorated with a fresco dreamed up by the set designer Béla Götz, in which the masked figures of the commedia dell’arte fly through the cloudy sky towards and above a dream theater.
The Madách Studio can accommodate 160 people, has its own lighting and sound equipment, and its auditorium can be changed from performance to performance.
The Tolnay Salon is tightly connected to the auditorium of the Main Stage and consists of two interconnecting rooms. It was named in memory of the artist, who died in 1998. There is a regular art exhibition in the smaller hall, and a space for 100 people in the auditorium.
The Madách Theater, which moved to the boulevard in 1961, underwent many changes and many eras. Major epoch changes often bring about radical changes, sometimes almost a single moment is enough, other times the result of a slower, longer, naturally maturing process. Theatrical eras are usually created by great theatrical individuals, one or more actors or directors - but without a determination to build an epoch. Rather, they are subsequently identified by the public or the profession. Creative energy, revolutionary, novel or unexpected approaches emanating from the creators bring change.
There is still an “era” in the Madách Theater. The era of the rise and success of musical theater. The change began in 1983 with Cats, whose decades-long series of success provided a solid foundation for the next defining step: the legendary 2003 performance of The Phantom of the Opera. Both performances were directed by Tamás Szirtes, who was elected director of the Madách Theater in 2004. Under his direction, the Madách Theater embarked on a path that has resulted in a successful musical theater of outstanding quality. World-famous musicals line up in his program, which are usually in large blocks, so-called they are staged according to the en suite playing order, and each performance remains on the show for years. The basic aim of the theater is to give the viewer the same experience even after 10 years as at the premiere. This kind of production structure and approach posed new challenges not only to the company and the creators, but also to the building. The large-scale visual world of musicals, the technical, technical and infrastructural demands of the “stage magic” are increasing, so the development and transformation investments are continuous, the most advanced stage technology, lighting and sound equipment, LED walls and a variety of digital devices provide the background for the performances. success.
- 13 m diameter drum revolve
- 3pcs 2x6 m traps in the revolving stage
- 1pc 1x3m hoist
- 1pc 1x3m opening
- 10pcs 1x1m openings
- mobile person lifting
- a total of 18 pcs main stage power pullers in 6 rows
- 6pcs mechanical fly systems
- 24pcs manual fly systems
- lighting bridge behind the portal opening
- 1pc depth adjustable lighting bracket
- 1pc lighting bracket on the backstage
- front curtain behind cortina portal opening
- manually moving orchestra pit
- person lifting
- proscenium curtain
- 9 pcs front-stage power pullers
- 1pc front-stage lighting bracket
- LED label maker
The stage is accessible by a 12-tonne truck on the stage level.
Size: 14m x 16m Black box, useful interior height 4.9 meters.
Under the ceiling pipe grid.
- Mobile auditorium for up to 160 people.