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Szigligeti Theatre

Szigligeti Theatre

The first theatrical performance in Szolnok took place in the winter of 1822, staged by the travelling troupe of Pál Szilágyi. A brick-and-mortar theatre – the Szolnok Town Theatre – was built 90 years later and operated as a host theatre until 1954, when the permanent company was formed.

Szigligeti Theatre

Szigligeti Theater came to national fame under the directorship of Gábor Berényi. The first big success is connected to Rudolf Somogyvári’s acting of Hamlet in 1960. Gábor Mádi Szabó, László Mensáros, Péter Czibulás, Iván Darvas, Mari Törőcsik, Dezső Garas, József Gregor, Tibor Bitskey, Károly Mécs and other great actors and actresses all spent successful seasons in Szolnok in the 1960s.

In 1971, Gábor Székely launched ’Cat’s play’ from here to win international acclaim throughout Europe. In the last year of his directorship, the Szolnok theatre already had Imre Csiszár, Jenő Horváth and István Paál on its roster of directors. The artistic image of the theatre later has been further enriched by the contributions of Imre Kerényi, György Spiró, György Schwajda, János Szikora and Péter Balázs.

It has grown into a tradition to invite celebrity names for the leading roles or direction of the particular shows. János Taub, Róbert Alföldi, Éva Almási, János Ács, István Bubik, Imre Csiszár, Miklós Szinetár, Frigyes Funtek, Péter Vida, Ildikó Bánsági, Péter Balázs, Éva Tímár, István Iglódi, Géza Bereményi, Imre Kerényi, Levente Málnay have all played all directed plays in our theatre.

The Szolnok theatrical scene has been in the limelight ever since. In spite the hardening of the economic situation the number of season ticket holders and overall number of spectators have not decreased, the theatre is still very popular in the town.

The municipal government financing the theatre appointed Péter Balázs as director on 15th June 2007, for a term of 4 years. In the spring of 2011, his tenure was lengthened to another four years.

Péter Balázs has been directing the theatre for five years now. His name is associated, among others, with the launch of the New Year’s Eve Gala, which has grown into a tradition and is broadcast live on Duna TV and Hungarian State Television making it possible for millions of viewers to marvel at the talent of Szolnok theatre actors and actresses. 


The theatre has undertaken the character of a people’s theatre entertaining at a high artistic standard. In this role it plays grand operettas just as well as Shakespeare’s tragedies, premiére shows of spectacular musicals and demanding stage adaptations of feature films, or organises several-days-long events for secondary school students, the ’Celebration of Adams and Eves’ which initiative has already developed into movevement of national importance.

The renovation of the one-time Chamber Theatre was completed in August 2010, and the rebuilt acting facility called ’Szín-Mű-Hely’ (Acting Workshop) was officially opened on 1st September, the Day of the Town. We are very proud of this achievement because we were able to bring the project enriching our town and theatre to completion in spite of the biting economic crisis.


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