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Ionel Banu



1 March 1926 - 6 September 2016


After a long and hard suffering, which he endured with great dignity and a certain serenity, the nanogenarian actor Ionel Banu has left this world.  


A graduate of the Royal Dramatic Art Academy, Acting department, Ionel Banu was a student of the great actor Ştefan Braborescu - artist of the people. Ionel Banu devotedly served the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre for four decades, 1946-1986, giving life to tens of classical or contemporary characters, under the guidance of the so-called "house" directors: Victor Tudor Popa and Rodica Radu, but also "great" directors: from Marietta Sadova, Ion Olteanu, to Val and Vlad Mugur, Aureliu Manea, Alexa Visarion, Alexandru Dabija, Mihai Măniuţiu.


We find his name on the posters from Othello, The Taming of the Shrew and As you like it by William Shakespeare, Ondine by Jean Giraudoux, La dame de chez Maxim by G. Feydeau, Tartuffe and The Miser by Molière, Despot-Vodă and Sunset by B. Şt. Delavrancea, The Duck Head by G. Ciprian, Quarrel of Gods by Radu Stanca and many others.



Without any ostentation or vanity, with a carelessness that made it all seem effortless, he constructed his characters of suggestive effects which helped them to remain ingrained in the spectators' minds long after the curtain came down. He was equally devoted to his roles in productions for children: Dănilă Prepeleac in Dănilă Prepeleac based on Ion Creangă or The Adviser in The Magic Whistle by Sorin Lepa, a character that young spectators loved. We remember him fondly as Pârcălabul Grumază in Sunset, as Justine in Madame Bovary based on Flaubert, as Aliosha in Night Lodging by Gorki, as Philip in You Never Can Tell by G.B. Shaw, Trufaldino in Servant of Two Masters by Goldoni, Cleante in The Miser by Molière and the unforgetable Rică Venturiano in A Stormy Night by I.L. Caragiale.

Productions of the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre will be on tour to New York, Chișinău and Oradea from 8 September - 1 October 2016.

On Thursday, 8 September, the production Every Tzara has his DaDa (The Ghost of Elsinore) by Ion Pop, Ștefana and Ioan Pop-Curșeu, will be presented in New York at "The Riverside Church Theatre", within the project "A century of Dadaism - literature, theatre and visual arts in New York".  Entrance is free.  Following the performance, on September 9, at the Harriman Instititue there will be a discussion with the cast. The event marks the DaDa Centenary. This tour is organized in partnership with Columbia University and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, the Faculty of Theatre and Television from the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj and Persona Association. 

From 12 to 14 September, the production Call it art!, concept by Alexa Băcanu and Leta Popescu, director: Leta Popescu, will participate at the second edition of the National Theatre Reunion in Chișinău. The performance will take place on Tuesday, September 13, at 05:00 p.m., in the Studio Hall of the "Mihai Eminescu" National Theatre from Chișinău. The aim of this festival is to consolidate the cultural identity liaisons between the artists and audiences of the two Romanian countries.   

The production Agamemnon by Rodrigo García, director Andrei Măjeri, has been selected and will be presented in Oradea within the International Short Theatre Festival, in Competition, on Sunday, October 1st, at 05:00 p.m., at the Arcadia Hall.   

We look forward to seeing you at the theatre! 

Recently returned home after 10 months of "exile", the "Nottara" Theatre would like to honor its friends and supporters during its difficult period, December 2015 - June 2016.


As a result, Mihai Măniuțiu, the manager of the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, was awarded the "Partner for resilience and excellence" Diploma, as a sign of gratitude for his constant public support of the "Nottara" Theatre and his resilience in his endeavor to regain the building on  Magheru Bvd.,  wrongfully labeled as a 1st category seismic risk.


On Sunday, 28 August 2016, the "Nottara" Theatre presented, AT HOME, its first performance after 10 months in which it presented 80 performances in 37 different spaces.


On Wednesday, 31 August, the UNDERCLOUD International Independent Theatre festival announced the winners for its 9th edition.


The director Mihai Măniuțiu, the manager of the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, was one of the winners of this edition, receiving the Free Theatre - UNDER ANY CLOUD, for promoting and supporting the young generation of artists, a vision made obvious through both his work as a theatre manager, director, professor, and through his work as a promoter of culture.


We congratulate all the winners, as well as the organizers for their work and results! The complete list of winners, as well as of the members of the jury is available here. 


The 2016 edition of the UNDERCLOUD Festival offered over 40 national and international production, theatre events, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, meetings with artists from the theatre and cultural world: Pascal Bruckner, Mihai Măniuțiu, Răzvan Vasilescu, Marian Râlea, Alister O'Loughlin (Prodigal Theater, Great Britain), Elena Kovalskaya (Meyerhold Center, Russia) were among the special guests of this edition.