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Hungarian Production of "Billy Elliot'' Axes Portion of Run

Written by Chief Editor.

The Hungarian State Opera has cancelled 15 performances of Billy Elliot after poor ticket sales. This was blamed by the management on a homophobic campaign claiming the musical would “transform boys into homosexuals.”

The management of the Budapest theatre announced last week they were pulling the plug on the performances following a number of articles lambasting the musical in Magyor Idok, a leading newspaper tied to the Hungarian government.

In a letter to staff, Szilveszter Okovacs, the director of the opera, said: “As you know, the negative campaign against the Billy Elliot production has led to a big drop in ticket sales, and for this reason we are cancelling 15 performances in line with a decision by our management.”

“The propagation of homosexuality cannot be a national goal when the population is getting older and smaller and our country is threatened by invasion,” stated one article, even though the character of Michael, a friend of Billy’s who is gay, had been written out of the Hungarian version of the smash hit.

Despite the State Opera scrapping 15 shows, it also said it will go ahead with performances of Billy Elliot until July 14th, one of which is sold out.