Hungarian Opera House hits back after claims Billy Elliot show could ‘turn kids gay’

Hungarian Opera House hits back after claims Billy Elliot show could 'turn kids gay'
A previous production of Billy Elliot. Image: Péter Rákossy

7 June 2018

Hungary’s State Opera has defended their latest staging of musical Billy Elliot after accusations that the play could “turn children gay”.

The show, which follows the story of a working class boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, was first performed by the theatre in 2016.

This year’s rendition is set to feature some of Hungary’s most popular stage actors, as well as a scene from Swan Lake performed by the Hungarian National Ballet.

But the production came under attack from Hungarian writer Zsófia Horváth, who claimed that the show was a “eulogy of homosexuality”, declaring that children could “become homosexuals” after merely watching the show. She also criticised the theatre for failing to support the government’s new “conservative values”, blaming a “delayed regime change” across the arts.

Director Szilveszter Ókovács hit back at the claims, writing in Hungarian newspaper Magyar Idők that “showing something which is an undeniable part of life doesn’t mean you are propagating it.”

“One can very well be gay and conservative at the same time,” he wrote.

Billy Elliot – The Musical is on stage at Budapest’s Erkel Theatre from 19 June until 14 July, 2018.

Source: Hungary Today