The National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca is looking forward to welcoming you at the opening of the production The Most Beloved of Earthlings, after Marin Preda's famous novel, on a script by Tudor Lucanu. The preview of the production takes place on Thursday, 23 May, and the premiere, on Friday, 24 May 2019, from 7.00 p.m., in the Great Hall. The production is directed by Tudor Lucanu, scenography by: Cristian Rusu, music by: Șerban Ursachi, lighting designer: Jenel Moldovan. The cast includes Matei Rotaru, Ramona Dumitrean, Sânziana Tarța, Irina Wintze, Ovidiu Crişan, Ioan Isaiu, Petre Băcioiu, Radu Lărgeanu, Anca Hanu, Adrian Cucu, Cosmin Stănilă, Miron Maxim, Ruslan Bârlea, Radu Dogaru, Cătălin Herlo.
Romanian writer Marin Preda was born in Siliștea Gumești (Teleorman), on 5 August 1922. He made his debut with the short stories volume The Meeting between the Lands (1948). He published the first volume of his novel The Morometes in 1955 (the second volume would appear in 1967). They were followed by The Prodigals (1962), The Intruder (1968), The Great Loner (1972), The Delirium (1975), The Impossible Return (press articles, 1971), Life as a Prey (memoir, 1977).
The Most Beloved of Earthlings, Preda's last work, paints an ample view upon Romanian Stalinism. The three-volume novel was published in 1980, shortly before the author's tragic demise, on 16 May 1980, at the Writers' Creation House from the Mogoșoaia Palace. Eugen Simion wrote in his preface to the 1984 edition of the novel: "The Most Beloved of Earthlings is a total novel (...), which depicts an individual destiny that assumes the history, and a history that lives through an individual destiny". The hero, philosopher and academic Victor Petrini, was shaped after the tragic fate of famous Romanian writers like I.D. Sîrbu and Ion Caraion, both of whom were victims of political persecution after the installation of communism. Critic Laurențiu Ulici justly observed that all the moments "of the hero's social life enable the author to examine in realistic, blunt terms the «haunting decade of Stalinism»“.
The title of the famous novel was suggested by Aurora Cornu, with whom Marin Preda had a passionate love affair, followed by a four-year marriage. She used to pamper her husband by calling him "the most beloved of earthlings". However, when the novel was published, its title seemed a mean-spirited hint at "the most beloved son of the people" surname given to Nicolae Ceaușescu by the official press. Petrini's passion for Suzy - an actual sunshine after the tormented and deceptive marriage to Matilda - is artfully recomposed by director-scenographer Tudor Lucanu, who inserts new fragments in the text on the basis of the production. "Extremely interesting life philosophies" from "the lower strata of society" are "mirrored", then opposed to The Age of Bastards, as Victor Petrini calls his times. Victor Petrini experiences a constant lack of freedom. This explains the director and the scenographer Cristian Rusu's option for a confining, opressing prison environment.
Tudor Lucanu deftly leads his actors through the turns of this story "like some sort of guide who set the track, and has travelled the road before, who knows the destination, and has seen the whole map". The dramatist-director proves to be the right guide to help us understand that terrible "Age of Bastards".