The National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca opens the 2017-2018 season, Tuesday September 12, 2017, at 7pm, with the performance THE TRIAL after Franz Kafka, directed by Mihaela Panainte and with a scenography by Helmut Stürmer, the most recent premiere from the previous season. Highly praised by critics in the domain, THE TRIAL was selected, along with the studio performance PLAYLIST by C.C. Buricea-Mlinarcic, to participate to the the 27th edition of the National Theatre Festival that will take place in Bucharest, during October 20-30, 2017.
In fact, the first enthusiastic reactions emerged right after THE TRIAL's premiere: Dieter Topp, a German theatre critic who attended the Romanian premiere noted in several German journals: "At the end of April, a fresh breeze swept the venerable halls of the National Theatre from the city of Cluj, Romania, triggering at the end of the performance an actual storm of enthusiasm. Mihaela Panainte offered with her TRIAL an impressive Kafka premiere". Likewise, French critic Jean Christophe Brianchon makes the eulogy of the performance: "To say that Mihaela Panainte has ideas is an understatement (...). She has created at the National Theatre of Cluj an oneiric version of Kafka's THE TRIAL, harmonized with the force of un uncompromising thinking which emanates the atmosphere of metaphysical existentialism". In the country, critic Mircea Morariu wrote about THE TRIAL: "In the Cluj performance, Mihaela Panainte has the merit of having identified numerous procedures meant to highlight Josef K's increasingly acute, physically and morally overwhelming plunge into the absurd"; while Adrian Țion pointed out: "Mihaela Panaite approaches the topic of the novel from a crudely realistic-carnivalesque viewpoint, bordering the bearable. It is a sober, not somber vision, thinly nightmarish, of great unity of direction".
The 2017-2018 theatre season starts thus led by this extreme, very actual experience of Kafka's THE TRIAL, seen by his director as "the awakening of a man who, by chance or not, has a revelation at the age of thirty", "has a moment of maturity that triggers a process of change inside him", it is "the process of conscience of a man alike us all, who understands that he didn't pay attention, he wasn't present in his own existence, so things got out of his hand". It's something "similar to a dream", but a dream that wakes us to crude reality, just like, in a completely different direction approach, Tudor Lucanu's performance of PLAYLIST also does it. A play written by C.C. Buricea-Mlinarcic about expectations, fears, love and frustrations, about projections and failures in a Romanian world that has passed through various political regimes without reaching the much wanted responsible maturity. A performance awaiting for you at the "Euphorion" Studio in the course of September.