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Hungarian State Opera cancels performances

In the latest example of intolerance from within the Hungarian regime, the Hungarian State Opera has cancelled its run of Billy Elliot, the story of a working class boy from the north of England in the 1980s who escapes the privations caused by the miners’ strike and fulfils his dream of becoming a ballet dancer.

Officials blamed poor ticket sales for the decision to cancel, following multiple reports in the Hungarian press that watching the musical can ‘turn you gay’.

Hungary Prime Minister Victor Orban

President Victor Orban’s regime is becoming increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of minorities. The Prime Minister has pledged to maintain a ‘Christian Europe’ in the face of what he calls a ‘Muslim invasion’.

His ruling party’s appointees dominate many artistic institutions and universities, with many plays and exhibitions containing nationalist messages. Funding is being withdrawn for organisations which do not toe the party line.

Former adviser to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, has described Orban as ‘a hero’.

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Rob Harkavy

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