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  • Author or Editor: Emese Lengyel x
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Abstract

In May 1928, the Andrássy Street Theatre in Budapest planned to re-stage a one-act operetta play titled The First Kiss is Mine. Its libretto was written by Jenő Heltai, and the music was composed by Albert Szirmai. The new performance started out as a resounding success. But, referring to current laws on public morality, Ministry of Interior department in charge of controlling public and cultural programmes banned the play without delay, on 18 May, and Minister of the Interior, Béla Scitovszky ordered an investigation into the matter.

People referred to the event as a scandal, and the press spoke of it as an absurdity, as the theatre enterprise was endangered by the resulting loss in income. After the ban, the actors were only allowed to perform the play for a commission sent from the Ministry of Interior, and finally, on 22 May, Scitovszky permitted the program after all, with some minor changes. In my study, I reconstruct and present the events of these few days with the help of contemporary journalistic sources (reports, interviews, etc.) – Budapesti Hírlap, Esti Kurir, Magyar Hírlap, Magyarország, Pesti Hírlap, Pesti Napló, Újság, 8 Órai Újság –, the circumstances of the prohibition, the protest and opinion of the playwrights, the position of the commission, the performance for the commission, and the background of the permission for the new performance.

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