Katona József Theatre

Katona József Theatre

Katona (Soldier) József Theatre, a splendid construction in neo-baroque style, designed by two renowned Viennese architects at the turn of the nineteenth century, is near the center of Kecskemét. I was anxious to check out its sumptuous interior, for I had used it as a scene in a historical novel I had written as a prequel to Shattered Tears.

The theatre scene involves Admiral Horthy returning from one of his hunting expeditions with his prized horses. A number of foreign heads of state accompanied him, but they had ulterior motives: they were pressuring him to supply additional troops to Hitler. But I am getting ahead of myself. I wanted to see Katona József Theatre first hand.

You can imagine my disappointment when I arrived to find it closed. It was Monday, and the theatre is always closed on Monday. After traveling so far and getting so close, the best I could do was peer through the front door.

I had another reason for wanting to see the theatre and find someone who would take me around. I remembered as a child sitting next to the plush red curtains in the upper balcony. My parents had taken me to view a show, my first time ever in a theatre. I don’t remember the play or the music, but I do remember being impressed by the stage and the vast seating. The theatre seats 900, and for a young child occupying a big, velvet chair, all to herself—well, that theatre seemed enormous.

And then I was heading back to Budapest, never to see it again. I regret not being able to capture a picture of the theatre’s interior.

About Sheila Bali

Sheila Bali, historical fiction writer, is soon to complete her novel, Swans and Cranes, based on a family’s escape from the iron grip of post–WW II Russia during the turbulent 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The book focuses on a young girl’s experiences as her family’s world is uprooted, forcing them to flee their home and country to save their lives. Sheila holds a Fine Arts Degree from Concordia University, plus two graduate degrees from McGill University in art education and special education. She now lives in San Francisco Bay Area of California and paints with colorful words. Sheila is a member of CWC Tri-Valley Branch.
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7 Responses to Katona József Theatre

  1. Margaret M Dunlop says:

    A charming building in an historic city – a shame you could not see inside. I have had similar “Monday” problems in other cities!

  2. Alexandria says:

    How disappointing that you weren’t able to stay long enough to get inside the next day when it was open. What beautiful architecture.

    • SheilaBali says:

      I did talk to the museum’s curator eventually by phone. The curator was equally disappointed that I missed their guided tour. Great to hear from you Alexendria.

  3. Eric summer says:

    Very nice blog. I enjoyed wandering through it. I’ll come back !

  4. Kat Varn says:

    Awwww, brought back my own beautiful church moment in Venice and was blessed to wander around its incense aroma and amazing frescoes.

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