National Theatre Director Attila Vidnyánszky submitted his resignation to Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák today, following an accident during a performance at the theatre in which two actors were gravely injured. The director will continue to fulfil his duties related to the leadership of the theatre until the investigation regarding the accident is concluded, as announced by the Ministry of Culture and Innovation (KIM) on Monday.
The statement noted that the minister will address the resignation after the completion of the investigation into the accident. Until then, Attila Vidnyánszky will continue to lead the theatre. The Ministry will remain in continues communication with the institution and monitor the progress of the investigation.
According to a statement published on the theatre’s website, the performance of the play Romeo and Juliet on Friday was interrupted during the second act due to the accident involving actress Júlia Szász, who plays Julia, and Lajos Ottó Horváth, who plays Julia’s father. The paramedics who arrived promptly at the scene and provided emergency care to the two artists who were then taken to hospital.
The investigation into the circumstances of the accident is ongoing. According to some media reports, theatre staff have allegedly warned on a number of occasions that the stage set was extremely dangerous. In the scene during which the accident happened, Júlia’s father is holding his dead daughter in his arms, standing on a balcony. During the Saturday performance, Lajos Ottó Horváth, the actor playing the father, lost his balance and he and Júlia Szász fell down onto the stage from a considerable height.
Semmelweis University informed MTI on Monday that the two actors were transported to the Traumatology Clinic of Semmelweis University on Friday with limb injuries, and underwent surgery on the same day. The National Theatre actors are doing better, their condition is stable, but they have not been discharged from the clinic yet.
Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák sent a message to the two actors via a Facebook post on Sunday. He expressed his sympathy and wished a speedy recovery to the National Theatre artists.
In another post, he reported on his visit to the hospital and on the fact that the Ministry is providing emergency financial assistance to the actors.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/KIM/MTI