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TWELFTH NIGHT OR WHAT YOU WILL
by William Shakespeare
director: Botond Nagy
Opening date: Saturday, March 9 2024

Adapting such an important text as The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare was a brave choice. Why? Because it has been performed so many times throughout the centuries, that it seems almost impossible to bring a new perspective. But it seems that director Botond Nagy and the team from the National Theater of Cluj have managed to produce an impressive show in all of its elements and especially the manner in which a comedy published in 1602 has been made contemporary [...] The characters, the lighting, the music, the movement, everything contributes to the sensuality which characterizes Botond Nagy's shows. This production is a must-see for any theater lover and not only. [...].

Bianca Tămaș, A douăsprezecea noapte sau cum doriți [The Twelfth Night or As You Will],
Clujul Cultural, March 18th, 2024



An explosion of color, improbable connections, shocking revelations, and seduction. Everything is charming. Skin-based, cloth-based, wool-based (the twins Sebastian and Viola (Diana Buluga) seem to be born out of their own yellow hats. The same is true about the sound and the music. The original score was composed by Claudiu Ursu (the synchronization between Ursu's sounds and Niculescu's video-wave pulsations is flawless!), the most famous score is performed by Anca Hanu (divine!) and the rest of the cast (In the Heat of the Twelfth Night was my original favorite, but I was amazed by the ending!). But the gestures, acrobatics, and dance are also charming (the choreographer Andrea Gavriliu should get an OSIM certificate) and completely define certain characters, such as Olivia's shadow (Diana-Ioana Licu), invented by Botond.

Mihai Brezeanu, LiterNet,
April 2024


ANGEL AND DEMON
after poems by Mihai Eminescu and Veronica Micle
director, set and costume design and music selection: Emanuel Petran
Opening date: Sunday, January 14 2024

Far from being a mere poetic recital to honor the national poet, Emanuel Petran's show is based on the dramatization of lyricism, combining various texts, imagining dialogues, so that the spectator is faced with a play with both real and fantastic characters, taken from Eminescu's poetic imaginary. The fragments are not only selected from Eminescu's work. There are also lyrics by Veronica Micle, which is why Angelica Nicoară comes onstage to embody the avatars of the feminine "angel" and "demon", illusions of dreams and love. 

 

Adrian Țion, Încă un omagiu adus lui Mihai Eminescu: Înger și Demon - o experiență teatrală reușită [Paying Homage to Mihai Eminescu: Angel and Demon - a successful theatrical experience],
Făclia, January 15th 2024

 



This modest space holds all the turmoil of a creator who manages to escape real life, becoming the poet struck by the arrow of goddess Diana, portrayed by the actress Angelica Nicoară. At the same time, love brings him closer to the woman he loves, Veronica Micle, who is both an angel and a demon. With his troubled thoughts about the world, humanity, his contradictory feelings, his broken ideas, and the struggles he writes about, the creative genius dies slowly, alone, in poverty. We should note the director Emanuel Petran's bold choice to set the story on Christmas Eve, an important Christian holiday. With similar creative boldness, he imagines the ending: the poet dies alone, he doesn't even enjoy the warmth of another human being, but he is accompanied on his path to the afterlife by the Virgin Mary. We might be used to modernist, progressive plays by now, but the director also takes a huge leap and draws on the spirituality of the Romanian people, i.e., its essence, just as Mihai Eminescu himself did in his masterpieces. 

 

Tia Sîrca, Actorul Emanuel Petran l-a însuflețit pe scândura scenei pe poetul Mihai Eminescu [The actor Emanuel Petran has brought the poet Mihai Eminescu back to life, onstage],
Făclia, January 16th 2024


Un scenariu inteligent după poezii de Mihai Eminescu și Veronica Micle, ca un fel de călătorie inițiatică, unde se produc conexiuni sibilinice. Mirajul respiră: poeziile dialoghează între ele, într-o neasemuită complementaritate, marcând stări diafane sau focalizând corespondențe ingenioase. Osmoza finalizată resetează înțelesurile, într-un ecleraj multifuncțional. [...] Cei doi actori evoluează firesc, uimind prin fabulosul slalom al memoriei poetice. O dragoste platonică se desenează gradat, deși „despărțiți de-a vieții valuri, între el și între dânsa/veacuri sunt de cugetare".

Alexandru Jurcan, Conexiuni sibilinice,
în Tribuna, nr. 515,16-29 februarie 2024



 


HOW MR. GHERASE FELL IN LOVE WITH CLARA SMITH
by Cosmin Stănilă
director: Doru Vatavului
Opening date: Sunday, December 17 2023

It's clear, poor Alexandru Gherase seems to be the obvious victim of sentimental blackmail. He sold his "well-kept Dacia" to give his virtual lover 1,000 euro to help her visit him. Cosmin Stănilă turns into a convincing tired old man, who is equally ridiculous and endearing in his naivety and sincerity. Conned by a woman posing as Clara Smith, an enticing woman. Sânziana Tarța knows how to act sensual and sweet-voiced in order to be seductive.

Adrian Țion, Realitatea digitală pe scenă - Cum s-a îndrăgostit domnul Gherase de Clara Smith [Digital Reality Onstage - How Mr. Gherase Fell in Love with Clara Smith]

LiterNet, December 2023



The love story between Mister Gherase and Clara Smith is a complicated one, which navigates the layers of individual identity and oscillates between reality and fiction. The show explores the various aspects of human relationships, from harmless flirting to situations where someone ends up being exploited, in every sense of the word.

Bianca Tămaș, Cum s-a îndrăgostit domnul Gherase de Clara Smith [How Mr. Gherase Fell in Love with Clara Smith]

Clujul Cultural, January 5th, 2024

 



One of the most surprising aspects of the show directed by Doru Vatavului is, perhaps, the breakdown of convention, which turns it into theater within the theater - a growing trend, which, when skillfully and carefully done, can add new and unpredictable layers to a play / a show. In our case, the process unfolding onstage is the very creative process which produced the show. It's not just the story of a theatrical production; rather, it is the very genesis of the artistic product before our eyes.

Oana Balaci, Nimic nu e ce pare a fi - Cum s-a îndrăgostit domnul Gherase de Clara Smith [Nothing is as It Seems - How Mr. Gherase Fell in Love with Clara Smith]
LiterNet, January 2024


 

The show at the National Theater of Cluj, "How Mr. Gherase fell in love with Clara Smith", written by Cosmin Stănilă and directed by Doru Vatavului, marks the advent of a new age of Romanian theater, in which the artists take a new approach to the truth of documentary information and the ethical relationship with their sources. In other words, the show addresses the problem of the artist's responsibility regarding information and the methodologies of documentary theater. Throughout the show, the author is playing with the spectators' minds, exploiting and deconstructing prejudice, launching new avenues of inquiry, and challenging the audience to judge whether the information is true, whether and how much they believe, given that the description of the show presents it as documentary theater. Fiction and truth overlap in the show, leaving a couple of unanswered questions: how much and how do we use each other, and what is the correct relationship between two people from incompatible social worlds? [...] Beyond the comical and bitter story, told very simply and without providing any solutions, the show questions the internet as an instrument. It can be an antidote for chronic loneliness, but it can also serve as a place where victims are found and made, where the distortion of truth makes it possible to oscillate between being a victim and an aggressor.

 

Oana Cristea Grigorescu, Etica surselor în teatrul documentar [The Ethics of One's Sources in Documentary Theater],
Scena.ro, February 17th, 2024
 



The revelation has taken place: Cosmin Stănilă (Gherase) is amazing. He really is... old... the young actor, with his jerky movements, his trembling lips, his imperceptible tics, his shaky voice, his loudness, his grey beard and bald head, his slippers and jumper - at an age when "your knees hurt and your friends die" [...] Personally, I think this is an absolutely necessary show, a charitable SOS, full of humor, with sublime acting: in the first part of the show, Cosmin Stănilă makes a composition role fit for the UNITER awards.

 

Alexandru Jurcan, Fascinația și putreziciunea virtualului [The Fascination and the Rot of the Virtual World],
Tribuna, no. 514, 1-15 February 2024



 

How Mr. Gherase fell in love with Clara Smith is more than a show. It is an X-ray of our consumerist society, in which money is the new religion, and real feelings are trampled on by individuals whose humanity is nothing but a distant memory of the virtual world.

 

 

Anca Șugar, Draga stea a vânzării de iluzii [The Darling Star of Illusion Selling],
Tribuna, no. 514, 1-15 February 2024