Alex, Pete, Dim and George are four rebel young men who live of night heists that bring them not only money, but pleasure as well. The four hooligans enjoy tremendously the violence they exert upon the weaker ones, such as the Beggar among others. After a series of such crimes, Alex, the band leader - who, in his own words, is certain that „even if we are a wolf pack, someone has to lead the gang" ¬ is jailed and subjected to reeducation techniques that should turn him into someone perfectly integrated within society. The prison Priest raises the question of the free will: „What does God actually want? He wants you to be a good man or to choose to be good? Could someone who chooses to be bad somehow be better than someone who is obliged to be good?". The play invites us to reflect upon this problem, in an extremely personal and alert manner, in scenes alternating with an amazing speed. A turmoil of violence and deafening music are accompanied by a very delicate scene where the four „baddies" lay down, raising their eyese towards the star-filled sky, as if looking there the answer to the churchman's question. A Clockwork Orange doesn't plead for violence, but suggests an antidote against it. Why else would Alex keep on being haunted by Beethoven's 9th Symphony, why else would the Ode to Joy delicately resound, in a certain moment of the show, to interrupt for a while the chain of violence?
About the author:
A Clockwork Orange is Anthony Burgess' (1917-1993) best-known novel, published in 1962 and adapted in 1971 by director Stanley Kubrick in a famous movie led by Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee and Michael Bates. The film caused many controversies, being pulled back from the market for thirty years, which made it even more notorious.
The author himself explains the signification of the title, a „clockwork orange" being an old cockney expression standing for anything that deviates from the norm. „Nothing is, after all, more unnatural than a clockwork orange, says Burgess. While I was working in Malaysia as a professor, I often heard my students, when asked to write an essay about a day in the jungle, saying they would take with them a bottle of «orang juice». «Orang» is a common word in Malaysia, meaning «human being». Cockney and Malaysian language merged in my mind and borne the image or juicy sweet people like oranges, forced to get into the shape of mechanic objects".
Some thoughts of the artists:
For the director of the performance, Răzvan Mureșan „A Clockwork Orange, a cult-novel of the 60s, is a psychological game. Just as an orange can never be associated to a mechanism, neither can the man be deprived of his freedom of choice. When someone cannot make a choice, he stops being a man, says Burgess. Perhaps that's why the man who choses evil can be better than the man who is forced to do good. I do what I do because I like it... the evil belongs to the individual, to him, to you, to me, to ourselves."
I asked three of the leading actors how they were moved by the character they played and how did it affect them? Here are their answers:
Cristian Grosu, playing Alex: „A few years ago, when I first read A Clockwork Orange, I started, almost involuntarily and without even realizing it, to build this character within me. I wanted him until I got him. And here I am, displaying him on the stage of the National Theatre, together with my band mates. This is the first „inner chord" struck, my fulfilled desire. The second refers to the aesthetics of ugliness, to human monstrousity, to the wisdom that makes us sometimes extract beautiful and noble meaning from an amalgam of disgusting facts. But that inner chord cannnot „be touched". Rather every single viewer plays at it."
Radu Lărgeanu, playing Dim: „I try my best not to let the characters that I play affect me. I don't think that's good for my mental health. What would I do if the characters I play have an impact upon me, especially those like ,,Moho"?!...
Even so, there are some things that stay with me after I stopped playing with these texts, ideas, characters. Certain feelings or words stay with me, but most often certain questions do. I can't say yet if Moho left a trace in me, because I am not done with him yet, we still play every day until the premiere. There is, however, a word that has haunted me since I started working at this performance, the word ,,violence". One question, left by the play Our Class, keeps coming to my mind: „How come people become capable of doing that?""
Miron Maxim, playing George: „I have always been interested in reasons why people become malefic and want to instill pain in the others, so this role has been a welcome opportunity for me to explore these mechanisms. I want to discover, throughout our performances, as many as possible of the inner resorts that determine the character's shocking behavior. I already suspect this approach will bring me more questions than answers."
50 lei, 40 lei, 30 lei, 20 lei, 10 lei (according to the seat in the performance hall);
10 lei - discount for pupils, students and pensioners.