We have a new premiere in the Great Hall of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca: Master Manole by Lucian Blaga. After the 1930 performance under Ștefan Braborescu's stage direction and Alexa Visarion's 1973 production, we are looking forward to welcoming you to another performance based on Blaga's text. The premiere takes place Saturday, 9 June 2018, from 7.00 p.m. To introduce us into the atmosphere, we spoke with the director of the performance, Andrei Măjeri, and the costume designer, Lucian Broscățean.
Eugenia Sarvari: Andrei Măjeri, you graduated the Faculty of Theatre and Television of the "Babeș-Bloyai" University of Cluj, in 2014. The first performance you directed at the Cluj National was Pandora's Box by Katalin Thuróczy. You also directed here two texts by Rodrigo García, Agamemnon and Death and Reincarnation in a Cowboy in 2015 and 2016. How did you come upon Master Manole in 2018?
Andrei Măjeri: It's for the first time that a text is suggested to me. I was always the one to choose the plays I was going to direct. Master Manole was suggested by Mr. Mihai Măniuțiu, and I gave a lot of thought to this idea, my first instinct being to reject it. I felt I couldn't say anything new about this text. I was wrong. I came back to it and, at the same time, I dug deeper into Blaga's universe with other dramatic, philosophical, but especially poetic texts. I realized it's a legit text, worth revisiting. For actors, it's a great chance to get extraordinary parts. I later thanked Mr. Măniuțiu for having challenged me in this way.
The "Lucian Blaga" National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca invites you at the premiere of the performance MASTER MANOLE by Lucian Blaga, which takes place in the Great Hall, Saturday, 9 June, from 7.00 p.m., directed by Andrei Măjeri.
The play Master Manole was written between 1 May and 15 September 1926, and printed in 1927 at Dacia Traiană Publishing House from Sibiu. Its absolute premiere was on 6 April 1929 at the National Theatre of Bucharest, under Soare Z. Soare's stage direction, with the role of Manole played by A. Pop Marțian, and of Mira by Aura Buzescu. On 11 February 1930, the play premiered at the National Theatre of Cluj, directed by Ștefan Braborescu, with Manole played by Ion Tâlvan, and Mira by V. Cronwald. Lucian Blaga elaborated upon the South-European largely-spread myth of Master Manole, in which the stronger, larger-than-life love of Manole for Mira combines with his urge to create a time-transcending work. Manole is a Lucifer-like character striving to reach immortality through his own creation.
A new premiere is prepared at the "Euphorion" Studio of the National Theatre of Cluj: a performance after Matei Vișniec's play, directed by Răzvan Mureșan, About the Sensation of Elasticity when Walking upon Corpses, which takes place Sunday, 10 June 2018, from 7.00 p.m. We thought it would be a good time to interview the author of the play himself, the renowned playwright Matei Vișniec.
Eugenia Sarvari: In 1999, director Anca Bradu staged at the National Theatre of Cluj one of your texts: Slow Area for Horse and Camel. Several years later, in a "miracle-inducing kind of encounter" which took place at the end of 2003, you met in Paris essayist Ion Vartic, who was at the time director of the National Theatre of Cluj. This encounter inspired you to finish the play Attic in Paris with a View to Death, which was then "a work-in-progress" - as you state yourself in the performance booklet - and which would have its world premiere on 25 September 2004, directed by Radu Afrim. It has since become almost a duty of honor for our theatre to produce your texts: How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients, Fair: Target-woman and her Ten Lovers, both directed by Mona Marian, The Spectator sentenced to Death, Richard the Third is Forbidden, directed by Răzvan Mureșan, Clown Hiring directed by Sorin Misirianțu and now About the Sensation of Elasticity when Walking upon Corpses, also directed by Răzvan Mureșan. Where does this latter title come from?
Matei Vișniec: You spoke about miracle-inducing encounters... The play About the Sensation of Elasticity... is indeed born from such an encounter. Ten years ago, I was moderating at the Paris Bookfair a debate about Eugen Ionescu. Several writers and intellectuals recalled the personality of the playwright, but what touched me most were the memories of the essayist and literary historian Nicolae Balotă. He recalled how, when imprisoned in Jilava during the 50s along with Constantin Noica, he laughed heartily when their cellmate Nicolae Steinhardt told them about a certain "absurd" play written by Ionescu, The Bald Soprano.
In those moments, while I was listening to distinguished professor Balotă, some sort of alarm rang in my mind. It was a voice warning me: "watch out, there is a powerful dramatic situation here, a play subject!". My mind has, in fact, often worked like that. I sometimes read the papers, or talk with various people, or I walk on the streets and "the voice" starts to rustle, "watch out, play subject..."