Current Repertory

Helver`s Night

by Ingmar Villqist

Helver`s Night

by Ingmar Villqist

Translation: Anton Breiner
Matei Lucaci-Grünberg
Gabi Albu
Sound design:
Sever Bârzan
Technical Director:
Adrian Ionescu

Premiere: 19.12.2021

Duration: 1 h 40 min / Pause: No


50 lei

Project achieved within the programme Open Doors to Everyone


The play "Helver's Night" is presented with the permission of Stowarzyszenie Autorow ZAIKS, Warsaw  

Helver's Night is an impressive performance about the power of the human spirit in the face of history's terrible trials. A tender, profound and moving parable, told with humour and hope, about small lives shattered by great catastrophes, about despair and the stubbornness of holding one's heart up.

Helver and Karla are two people trying to live in a world where the vulnerable are annihilated. Helver is a child in an adult's body, and Karla - the one who tries to guide him through the maze of rules, signs and meanings of a society she is trying to protect him from. They are alone against the world, with their memories, their bickering, their stories, their traumas, their music and their dumpling soup.

The tenderness between them, the truth games, the dancing by torchlight, all seem to keep violence at a safe distance. Fanaticism is for Helver just an opportunity to exercise gymnastics, angry chanting - an opportunity to greet friends, extremism - a simple role-play. It all seems to be a convention, where grown-ups play soldier, dress up in uniform, carry guns and rid the world of "villains". That is, until the march of history arrives at their doorstep and the helpless men's game turns into a helpless cry for rescue.

An electrifying staging, where danger lurks at every turn, where scenes of domestic life intertwine with the great twists and turns of history, and the audience is invited to participate closely in this emotional and highly intimate carousel.    

Helver's Night was written in 1999 by Ingmar Villqist (the literary pseudonym of Polish playwright and art history professor Jarosław Świerszcz) and has been produced in over 30 theatres around the world.

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 


Karla: Amalia Ciolan Helver: Andrei Huțuleac
Gilbert (extra): Adrian Ionescu

"Helver's Night is about... Helver. A complex character, imagined by Ingmar Villqist to tell a story known and told a thousand times before. ... The "key" to Villqist's story lies precisely in the fragility of the main character, whom even a sneeze out of place, or a whisper too loud, or a scream too anemic, could empty all dramatic charge."

Radu Preda, - Helver’s Night, at NTB  

”It is not an easy show, but a highly emotional theatrical event that stays with the audience long after they have left the theatre. At first glance, I would have said that some moments are a bit long-winded, but then I realized that the emotion in the play builds gradually and unhurriedly precisely so that the effect of the text is total. Just as Karla is patient with Helver, the same patience is needed for the audience to reach the denouement. But the wait is entirely worth it.”

Andrei Bulboacă, - Helver’s Night or the Show of Pain  

“… Helver's Night is the kind of show you have to see again and again, not just to understand the messages hidden between the lines of the text, but simply out of a desire to fuse again and again with the beauty of the play, the complexity of the performance, and the beautiful personalities of the actors who play one of the most touching and delicate stage stories I have ever witnessed in theatre.”

Tudor Sicomas, Republika critica - On the Frailty of the Human Soul  

"The national premiere of Helver's Night, translated by Anton Breiner and directed by Matei Lucaci-Grünberg, is as heavy as a German tank for the actors and the audience. Atmospherically Ibsen-like, but not on the same level, with choreography frozen in amber by Gabi Albu.

Matei Lucaci-Grünberg has created a performance of great depth, emotion and sensitivity, despite a few short stretches (at the beginning and end) and led the actors to two performances worthy of a nomination or even a UNITER acting award. It's a first for an inward-looking audience that does not shy away from difficult subjects.”

Alexandra Ares, Liternet - A show heavy like a German tank with UNITER award-worthy performances - Helver’s Night  


Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

2022 - The performance was presented on the occasion of the Romanian National Theatres Meeting in Kishinev - "Artists for peace, freedom, hope".

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