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The Blizzard

by Barbu Stefanescu Delavrancea

The Blizzard

by Barbu Stefanescu Delavrancea

Director:
Alexandru Dabija
Sets:
Alexandru Dabija
Video:
Alexandru Dabija
Dramaturgy:
Mașa Dinescu
Choreography:
Florin Fieroiu
Assistant Director:
Patricia Katona, Teodora Petre
Assistant Scenography:
Ioana Iliescu
Technical Director:
Marcel Bălănescu

Premiere: 24.02.2018

Duration: 1 h 50 min / Pause: No

Tickets

40 lei

20 lei (reducere pentru elevi, studenți și pensionari)

And with contributions by Dimitrie Cantemir, Ion Neculce and "The Physiologist" (a folk tale)

Video captures are directed by Alexandru Dabija and created in the NTB Media Hall by Marius Donici, Mihai Rădinoiu and Gabriel Stănciuc.

In The Blizzard, Dabija reverses the historical discourse and its mythological load and achieves a „chronicle” of the times about the weakness and uncertainty of the state, the power games, about the way good and evil end up usurping each other. The show is a direct challenge to look at history with lucidness, beyond the depiction of the drama of neurotic Ștefăniță ‒ the image of a deplorable present in relationship to the haloed past ‒ and his cursed rule. Taking the side of a discrete and subtly ironic raisonneur, Dabija notices the imperfections (the idleness of thought and action, conformity, the tendency to please, stupid hedonism) which have eroded the mentalities and societies in search of identity.

Dabija’s Blizzard is a witty recount on the state of the nation.

 

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

Stefanita Voda: Marius Manole                      Oana: Ana Ciontea
Afrodita Androne
Niculina: Afrodita Androne
Rodica Ionescu
                     Doamna Tana: Ilona Brezoianu
Alexandra Sălceanu
Luca Arbore: Dorin Andone                      Carabat: Dragoş Ionescu
Mogardici: Marius Rizea                      Moghila: Alexandru Voicu
Isac: Emilian Mârnea                      Calota: Mihai Calotă
Catalin: Eduard Adam                      Nichita: George Piștereanu
Count Irmsky (Irma): Ionuț Toader                      Unguru: Mihai Munteniţă

"You should not imagine that „The Blizzard” after Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea (with texts from Dimitrie Cantemir, Ion Neculce and the folk book „The Physiologist”) is irreverent towards ancient letters or towards the ones, who have written them.

It is just a modern interpretation, much more honest, I would add, of texts which we are taught already on the school benches to learn by heart and not, God forbid, rough up the wrong way. (...) It is, more importantly, a breath of fresh air shattering the preconceived ideas of a people used to take some old junk for granted and treat them as icons.  

Due to this reason, I urge the young ones to watch this piece de resistance of the current season and hopefully, the following: hey, are you stupid? „The Blizzard” is cool! But also the older ones, because it is never too late to hover around a mirror, which does not twist reality".

Horia Ghibuțiu, Journalist Blog – The Blizzard Shattering History at NTB   

"Dabija and Manole relativize the character, refusing him a single colour. Ştefăniţă is a tonic type, with scathing humour, but he can also be deeply unpleasant, depressive or violent. One can empathize with him, but can also despise him.

This dramaturgical material of Shakespearean origin, reconfigured in a postmodern fashion, is decrypted on a Chekhovian note by Dabija who builds, with delicacy, relations and characters.

As usual, Dabija knows how to read for the stage, with an impeccable logic, a drama text, succeeding to turn, in the present case, an outdated play into a topical show. To certain extents, even acutely topical".

Oana Stoica, Dilema Veche - Richamlet the Ruler  

"Those times were not easy at all, nor is it nowadays easy to be fair, vertical and respected by powerful neighbours. Only Lord Ştefăniţă, enthroned in adolescence due to his hereditary power game, does not embody the virtues of his predecessors, but the flaws (...)

Dabija’s enactment unfolds a report on this country leader, seen from within his family and circle of friends during peacetime, in a war with his wise counsellors and attacking the interests of the country, uncapable of understanding them at any moment.

One is the scholastic approach to Delavrancea’s play and another the artistic performance over 100 years since the birth of the text… Alexandru Dabija, in his double posture as director and scenographer, builds an unconventional, innovative show, without excess, sober, without exaggeration, austere, inventive, shocking (a further example is the show ”Lottery Tickets”, to which I referred in the ”Morning Star” magazine on the day of the premiere). The stage represents a kind of salon-dining room, the throne hall, the only epochal detail being a vault through which the heroes come and go. The video projections of the forest covered in snow by the blizzard (it pierces into the stage) draw the attention and are well controlled. The savage forest, filled with traps, where roaring wild animals, stags, bisons and bears are crawling, is in itself a character.

(...) a bold show, performed expressively with a minutely directed team, step by step, gesture by gesture, tone by tone, detail by detail.

The role of Ştefăniţă requires a marathon actor and this one proves to be Marius Manole, although he is not an enthroned teenager. He bears the load of ”The Blizzard” and succeeds artistically. He is not repulsive as Richard III, whom he resembles from time to time, on the contrary, a hot shot, a hedonist with a congenial, juvenile, sexy countenance, but immoral outside the bedroom. Memorable are his personality crises. Nothing and no one stands in his way! Neither the bear, nor man. He is covered in blood, conceited, a cheeky boy, insolent and dangerous.

... a virile, innovative, complex, modern show of acting affirmation – individuals, groups, the atmosphere, history are performing".

Dinu Grigorescu, Radio Theatre Magazine - Alexandru Dabija and ”The Blizzard” at the National Theatre of Bucharest

"Marius Manole also captures the crises of madness, cruelty and sick frailty of Ștefăniță and his insane force and misery – especially misery, the source of the entire evil he creates around him –, and the immense need for love, which he does not receive from anywhere. And he also captures something else, extremely subtle, that humane, profoundly humane element from the nature and gaze of Ștefăniță, that fine wave of guilt, rendering him human, that vague thread of madness which certainly exists in every dictator, and the terrible fear of everything and nothing, following him permanently".

Monica Andronescu, YorickStraying around Moldavian History 

“In their midst, Ștefăniță, ruler of Moldavia, grandson of Stephen the Great, whose throne stays covered somewhere in the back of the stage, a sign that this young man with revolt in his blood, impulsive and chaotic, does not really care about his illustrious descendance. He is different. He wants to be different, and the ones who have identified a double nature to him, of angel and demon, have reasons to do so. (...) His relationships with power, which he wants absolute, have no reasons of state, but rely moreover on ego-worshipping individualism, which generates hatred and revenge directed to all those opposing him.”

Doina Papp, 22 Magazine – A Savage Game on the Field of Romanian History and Mentality   

"Alexandru Dabija has intuited the force of this play, which attempts to draw Romanian drama towards Shakespeare. And he succeeded in transposing this fact on stage, even declaring it openly through theatrical quotes.

His brave main character Ștefăniță, anointed ruler at an early age, performed in a Shakespearean way with much truth and a wide range of nuances by a Marius Manole, as usual, very precise (...) Neurotic, great wine lover, with more than easy principles of morality (he constantly cheats on his wife whom he married only a year ago; I notice here Dabija’s brilliant choice, who preferred to keep the Polish count Irmsky a man, lover of Ștefăniță, while in the text from one century ago he was a woman, Irma, disguised as a man in order to stay around the ruler and serve him as mistress), despising learning, childish, spoiled and energetic, he succeeds in giving an accurate outline to the historic character (...) He grew up playing the game of ruling and power, which Marius Manole captures very well. He jumps, runs, falls down, raises, gets drunk, rolls over, fights with bats and with the axe (interesting is also the fact that the sword has not been used at all, still as a way to approach the known or plausible universe of the spectator), does everything with a frantic energy, of a spoiled brat, but without any exaggeration".  

Blog Luciana Antofi - Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea in Contemporary Life, viaShakespeare: #viforulluidabija  

"A text updated with the aid of technology, a challenge to look a bit behind to an era of decadence, to be aware that tormented souls have always existed and the imperfection of society is not recent but has always existed. A historical drama so topical, which shall certainly cause you strong and manifold emotions. A show worth seeing".

Simona Ioniță, The Book Agency – The Dog-Cat from the Closet of History  

"The enactment is an exercise with a good dose of spontaneity, an unusual experimental project, built with personality and audacity and based on charisma, the capacity of endurance and performative force reconfirmed by Marius Manole, the one succeeding once again this indisputable performance.

... we recapture both Shakespearean highlights (”Macbeth”) and the wittiness specific to the anecdote and folk tale.

An unusual, powerful artistic proposal, an incandescent endevour conveying a bizarre, but cordial and authentic sentiment of fraternity and even compassion

... Dabija’s healthy and unprejudiced vision invites us to come to our senses and descend from our pedestals".

Răzvana Niţă, Radio Theatre Magazine – From the Berheci crate to the champagne wheelbarrow  

"Alexandru Dabija is well-known as an excellent reader and exegete, in shows of great inventiveness and humour.

... Marius Manole on an excellent day, nuanced and growing on the path of crime, from the nice and rather taunting boy at the beginning to the unforgiving villain...

Adding texts from Ion Neculce, Dimitrie Cantemir, even from the once famous folk book The Physiologist, Alexandru Dabija has added to Delavrancea’s play a touch of depth and political projection, valid for all times.

In short, an admirable show, avoiding common places, which destroys historical texts and especially those with a patriotic tendency. A show meant to last".

Nicolae Prelipceanu, Theatre Today 5-6/2018 - From Parody to Tragedy

 

Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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