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Farewell Mister Haffmann

by Jean-Philippe Daguerre

Farewell Mister Haffmann

by Jean-Philippe Daguerre

Translation: Vlad Russo
Director:
Felix Alexa
Lighting design:
Felix Alexa
Soundtrack:
Felix Alexa
Sets:
Andrada Chiriac
Technical Director:
Laurențiu Andronescu, Costi Lupșa

Duration: 2 h 10 min / Pause: No

Tickets

40 lei

20 lei (reducere pentru elevi, studenți și pensionari)

Director Felix Alexa and set designer Andrada Chiriac return to the NTB stage with Farewell Mister Haffmann, a play written by French playwright Jean-Philippe Daguerre. Performed to great acclaim on Parisian stages, Adieu, Monsieur Haffmann won four Molière awards in 2018, France's highest theatrical honour. A suspenseful tale set in Nazi-occupied Paris, Farewell Mister Haffmann presents the unusual pact between a Jew and a French Catholic, a moral contract that will change their destinies.  A blend of fiction and reality, the show is a mix of small intimate stories and geopolitics, a story that begins in 1942 and ends in the present day, with the disappearance of a painting by Henri Matisse at its core. Confiscated by the Nazis and thought lost forever, the Seated Woman has returned home after more than 70 years.

Performed for the first time in the country, Farewell, Mr Haffmann is both a page of history and a surprising life story, a drama with comic and suspenseful highlights, performed by the actors Alexandru Potocean, Richard Bovnoczki, Alexandra Sălceanu, Emilia Popescu and Andrei Finți.

Director Felix Alexa about the show:
"With a filmic structure and a very well dosed rhythm of the scenes, oscillating between the drama of family situations and historical context, the play Farewell Mister Haffmann seemed to me the perfect opportunity for an exercise in style and theatrical rigour.
Together with a wonderful team of actors, I created a performance in which I set out to discover infinite human nuances expressed with maximum intensity and finesse. At the same time observing, with tenderness and humour, how paradoxical life can sometimes become, especially when we complicate it ourselves.
Our show is about fragile beings thrown into the whirlwind of history and personal events that go haywire.
A frailty that does not exclude strength and courage."

Currently performed at the Petit Montparnasse Theatre, Farewell Mister Haffmann is one of the most beautiful successes of the beginning of the year. Jean-Philippe Daguerre's first play is a suspenseful story set behind closed doors. Is "courage stronger than fear", as Haffmann would have us believe?

Le Parisien, February 2018

Another quality of the show is its intellectual honesty. No one here is either good or bad, just human beings trying not to degrade themselves too much in a difficult historical context where very few are truly heroes. The situation is powerful enough to make us understand the ambiguities of desire and the impossibility of innocence.

Le Figaro - Jean-Luc Jeener, February 2018

 

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu

 

Partner of the Show      logo-autoerebus final-bun      

Pierre Vigneau: Alexandru Potocean                      Joseph Haffmann: Richard Bovnoczki
Isabelle Vigneau: Alexandra Sălceanu                      Suzanne Abetz: Emilia Popescu
Otto Abetz: Andrei Finţi                     

"Farewell Mister Haffmann" is a performance that is born on and for this text so valuable both dramatically and emotionally, ideologically. It is disturbing and at the same time captivating in its simplicity, accuracy, suspense and naturalness. It is to Felix Alexa's credit that he has been able to keep this whole construction in a valuable balance, to illuminate all its facets and reveal its dimension. I have been following Felix for a long time (practically forever) and I'm convinced that this is his most settled, most mature performance. He has imagined everything with such discretion and good taste (of course with his long-time collaborator, set designer Andrada Chiriac) that you always feel safe and in an atmosphere of calm intimacy. Nothing is garish or random. Impeccable."

"The Bucharest National has fulfilled its mission (well, part of it, obligatory, anyway). It has introduced us to a first-rate text, a true gem in the series of those that awaken the mind and fill the soul. "Farewell Mister Haffmann" is a story about how "courage is stronger than fear", how love is stronger than death. Nothing is unworthy as long as it is born of compassion. Great characters are shaped and hardened in challenges to match: to know how to love life to the end, to have the courage to see the future in the unjustly condemned next to you, to emerge from the cellar like Lazarus from the grave."

Răzvana Niță, Acta est fabula – Courage á trois   

"An actor himself, Jean Philippe Daguerre knows how to write for actors, and director Felix Alexa senses here the premises for successful roles. Which he does by casting the play's five characters with well-chosen actors who are comfortable with each other, playing with obvious commitment and making the story believable."

"A brilliantly performed show by a strong team, highlighted by Felix Alexa as the total author (direction, musical illustration, light design), together with set designer Andrada Chiriac, who proposes an interesting cut, solving not only the spatial requirements of the plot, but also the relationship between its different moments and the whole. Beyond functionality, the set contributes through symbolism (design, colour) to the extension of the meaning of the events in this play, which will be released this autumn in a screen version. "

Doina Papp, Revista 22 – Mister Haffmann Returns  

"In Farewell Mister Haffmann the surprises are endless. I will not go into details so as not to spoil the audience's pleasure in discovering them. I can only say that the way author Daguerre tells the story is ingenious, filmic, and flows with the refinement of a vintage French wine. "...

... "Felix Alexa has created a wonderful performance from the first line to the last, in keeping with the text. "

... "Felix Alexa is what Americans call "the invisible director", in contrast to the very popular image directors of the 1980s, that direction is so good one almost does not notice it, because all the components of the show work perfectly and envelop one in stage magic. It is the kind of understated but caliber direction that is practiced on the great Broadway and Off-Broadway stages and it proves great artistic confidence and maturity."

Alexandra Ares, Liternet – Farewell Mister Haffmann at NTB, Hello Success  

"Felix Alexa's staging of this story (based on a real case) at the Painting Hall of the I.L. Caragiale National Theatre of Bucharest is exemplary. I recognized at first sight the clarity of the director's vision, the well-articulated expressiveness, the surgical accuracy of the cut of the scenes, the perfect fit between the chosen actors and the characters played. Alexa has also chosen his own musical background, a cascade of sounds that maintain the intense rhythm of the plot. Andrada Chiriac is a major ally in the coagulation of the performance, proposing a set that is both suggestive and functional.

I can state, without being accused of exaggeration, that Alexa's performance even has two elements that verge on genius: Pierre's tap dance rehearsals, parallel to the action in the cellar, and the way Suzanne Abetz keeps bursting into laughter when she learns details of Isabelle's pregnancy."

.. "A must-see show. The best I've seen in a long time."

Gabriela Hurezean, Muses and Arms - NTB Premiere: ”Farewell Mister Haffmann”, welcome, stork!  

"The official premiere of Jean-Philippe Daguerre's play, Farewell Mister Haffmann, directed by the visionary Felix Alexa, took place at the Painting Hall of the National Theatre of Bucharest. His performances always surprise in a pleasant way and manage to captivate one not only by the stories he chooses to put on stage, but also by the way he builds the show in such a way that the spectator is captivated by what he sees on stage."

"The set design of the show is by Andrada Chiriac, and the music and lighting are by Felix Alexa. The show itself borrows cinematic elements, the scenes are very short, the pace is brisk and the acting space changes in a clever way. There is no need for a lot of objects or visual clutter, as the scenes and where they take place are highlighted for us by text projections that mention the year and location of the events.

It's the kind of performance that keeps the audience breathless especially if you understand the historical context in which the plot takes place. Less enjoyable is that every time the scene changes, the same background sound is heard repeatedly, and the fact that these changes are frequent leads to listening to the same melodic piece for two hours."

Andrei Bulboacă, Liternet - Life, Death and Art in Farewell Mister Haffmann   

 

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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