The Blacksmiths

by Milos Nikolic

The Blacksmiths

by Milos Nikolic

Horaţiu Mălăele
Maria Miu
George Marcu

Duration: 1 h 10 min / Pause: No

15 Apr 2024 20:00
06 May 2024 20:00
13 May 2024 20:00

185 lei

Independent show hosted by the National Theatre of Bucharest. The organiser is exclusively liable for the quality and content of this event!


Under various titles, Milos Nikolic's "The Blacksmiths" has been performed in the repertoire of several theatres in the country and abroad. The director of the performance, Horatiu Malaele, seems to be "in love" with this play in which he naturally also plays the main role.

The original text by playwright Milos Nikolic, born in Kosovo in 1939, tells the story of a German blacksmith who discovers after a long time that his son is the child of a Romanian. Horatiu Malaele adapts the story and the blacksmith Grigorie is a Romanian who discovers that his son is the child of the Hungarian Peter, the latter discovers that his son is also fathered by the Russian Ivan, and Ivan discovers that his son also belongs to "Grigorie!" This genetic mishmash is a consequence of the war, because all the men, blacksmiths by trade, were also soldiers at the front. The plot of the play is thematically generous in its suggestions of the consequences of war and the false trumpeting of nationalism that has become "doctrine" for some current European parties. The comedy is cleverly written by Milos Nikolic and makes the audience laugh at the misfortune of three men of different nationalities who discover that their sons have genetically different nationalities.

The adaptation by changing the nationality of some characters is, however, shaky. Wives are represented in the text only by Matilda, the wife of the Romanian Grigorie, who pleads that women did not cheat on their husbands, they only wanted the blacksmiths' guild to have descendants. Matilda's argument, the playwright conceives on the historical substrate that after farmers and shepherds, blacksmiths serve one of the oldest professions attested even in the Bible. These remain the basic professions of the common people. In today's world, however, Matilda's desire to perpetuate the guild is failing because their sons, their fathers say, are no longer blacksmiths, they have chosen other professions. Horatiu Malaele's adaptation uses Veronica Lazareanu's translation, which abounds in trivial accents.

Set designer Maria Miu, who has also illustrated this play at another theatre, with her acknowledged talent, builds on stage a detailed blacksmith's shop with objects specific to the trade, complemented by those from the households of simple people. The set is delightful and functionally designed to diversify the stage movement. Director Horatiu Malaele develops with humor the story of the three men, being an ace at comedy. The show lasts an hour and ten minutes, five minutes of which are consumed in the opening of the performance by Grigorie's search through the blacksmith shop with a torch, in the dark of course, for "something", but these absurd searches do not find a consolidated sense of purpose in the action that follows.

Remarkably, the four actors play their characters. Maia Morgenstern as Matilda, Grigorie's wife, gives an excellent performance. The actress develops with inner faith Matilda's struggle to convince her husband that she did not cheat on him during his four years at the front in Russia, complemented by the excitement of reuniting with Peter. Once again, Maia Morgenstern proves that she is an actress of rare complexity and can believably tackle both the comic and dramatic genres.

Horatiu Malaele builds the character of Grigorie with nuance, a simple man who tries to unravel the issues raised by Peter's arrival in his family. The actor handles the situation dramatically and the result is obviously comic. With a timid Hungarian accent in his speech, George Mihaita shows Peter as he experiences the excitement of meeting Matilda and the complicated situation of the revelations. Ivan's intervention at the end is admirably performed by Valentin Teodosiu, with his posture and his support of the relationships with those he meets. The four actors meritoriously retell the story of the skilled blacksmiths, simple people for whom the war has left ... traces, like many other simple people, living today in another world, confused in its manifestations.

"The Blacksmiths" offers comedy to the audience, who should also think afterwards, when it prides itself on having its genesis in ... Dacians and Romans. The show remains, simply, a successful fun exercise...


Translated by Andreea Codrea-Boeriu 

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Ion Caramitru Hall 20:00 Buy tickets
Ion Caramitru Hall 20:00 Buy tickets
Ion Caramitru Hall 20:00 Buy tickets
Grigorie: Horaţiu Mălăele Matilda: Maia Morgenstern
Peter: George Mihăiță Ivan: Valentin Teodosiu
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