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NATIONAL THEATRE TÂRGU-MUREȘ

Tranquility (Attila Bartis)

Radu Afrim

Direction: Radu Afrim 
Set: Adrian Damian 
Costumes: Erika Márton
Assistent director: Katalin Berekméri

Cast:
Andor: Barna Bányai Kelemen
Mother: Erzsébet B. Fülöp
Eszter: Bora Kiss
Éva Jordán: Katalin Berekméri
Rebeka: Dorottya Nagy
Jolika: Annamária Biluska
Further characters: László Zsolt Bartha, Ernő Galló, Ervin Ruszuly, Balázs Varga, Gábor Huszár, Kata Kölcze, Péter Nagy

Premiere: 7th May 2015

Tranquility The main hero of the psychologically-disturbing and at the same time biting ironic novel Tranquility, on which Afrim’s dramatisation is based, is the writer Andor, who for fifteen years has been looking after his mother. She was once a famous actress, but has now stopped leaving her flat. The pathology of the relationship between mother and son reflects the pathology of the social relations of the 1980s, which the director grotesquely highlights. “The exceptional nature of Tranquility lies in its complex depiction of the way in which our inner and outer worlds are conditioned by each other – in other words the big stories (history) and the little ones (anecdotes). (…) Bartis offers an apt metaphor for people of late communism, and at the same time a generational settling of accounts with this phase in recent history, bounded in the novel by the years 1976 and 1991. (…) He has managed to write a book that in its intensity and scope is a keen candiate for the future classic (central) European novel of the 21st century,” Ondřej Kavalír has written of the literary model.

It’s like a calamity: it scorches you, breaks you down, gets under your skin. First you don’t even know why, you just feel it affects you in an elementary way. This kind of theatre is blasphemic, grotesque, surreal. The play, or rather the performance, gets a long way from Bartis’s novels. The “raw” texts serve as a means both for Radu Afrim, the Romanian director, and for the ensemble of Târgu Mureș to bring to life their own visions of great consequence about love, death, vulnerability, about the paths out of being, attraction of bodies, the power of Eros.
Dezső Kovács, art7.hu

One of the virtues of the Târgu Mureș company is that its actors make audiences understand the fragmented evolving story even if they have not read Bartis’s novel. In fact they are probably better off, because having no prior knowledge, they also have no expectations. As “compensation” they receive an outrageous, but even so a wonderful story: a brutish, disturbing performance full of real and surreal, highly realistic and poetic images with excellent acting.
Kata Köllő, Jatekter

Radu Afrim (1968) is from the Transylvanian town of Beclean. In 1995 he graduated from the Romanian – French department of the Faculty of Letters, then studied directing at the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj. Known as the daredevil of the Romanian theatre, a director of the new generation, he became famous for his bold adaptations of classical plays and stage adaptations of a variety of contemporary texts from very different cultures, including Russian, Danish, Swiss, German, French, Norse, Polish, and also Romanian and Hungarian. Most of his works are based on improvisation, and the texts are written by himself, very often in collaboration with the artistic team he works with. His plays are characterized by striking visual and audio effects, daring association of ideas and a unique theatrical world. Reoccurring characters and motifs match together in a surreal way in his newer productions. The Romanian theatrical press refers to his powerful theatrical world simply as “Afrimian”.  His affinity with photography can be seen in his works. The spaces on the stage are composed consciously down to the smallest details and they are characterized by a playful multifunctionality. He has directed in almost every theatre in Romania, from national theatres to independent companies. He is a recurring director in the theatres of the capital, in Ploieşti, Iaşi, Brăila, Sibiu, Sfântu Gheorghe, Timişoara and also inTârgu-Mureş,

The National Theatre Târgu-Mureș The only theatre in Romania with national status to have two companies playing in two languages with two repertoires (Hungarian and Romanian), while functioning as a single institution. The National Theatre of Târgu-Mureș is the successor of the Secler Theatre, founded in 1946 as the first institutional theatre company in the town. Initially in Hungarian, from 1962 also with a Romanian company, the theatre is one of the cornerstones of Târgu-Mureș’s cultural life. It functions as a repertory theatre, and in accordance with its national status, it aims to represent and communicate the values of both cultures. In the spirit of interculturalism, the two theatre companies work together, and by inviting foreign guest directors, the theatre opens itself towards European theatrical endeavours. The Hungarian company, named after a former director and manager, Miklós Tompa, considers its main task to be contemporary dramaturgy, modern theatrical forms and the reading of contemporary classic works of literature.

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