Current Repertory

Three Sisters

An (Un)usually Free Script Based on Chekhov

Three Sisters

An (Un)usually Free Script Based on Chekhov

Translation: Raluca Rădulescu
Radu Afrim
Radu Afrim
Assistant Director:
Mădălina Ciupitu
Irina Moscu
Assistant Scenography:
Mădălina Sandu, Arina Balaș
The costume of the goat made by:
Cosmin Florea
Andrei Cozlac
Sound design:
Călin Țopa
Sound universe:
Radu Afrim
Lighting design:
Mircea Mitroi, Cristian Șimon
Technical Director:
Adrian Ionescu

Premiere: 05.12.2019

Duration: 3 h / Pause: 15 min


80 lei

60 lei

30 lei (cu reducere pentru elevi, studenți și pensionari)

Due to the stroboscopic and light effects, of short duration and intensity, the show is not recommended for people with photosensitivity and those suffering from epilepsy!

The show can be watched by children up to 14 years old, only with the consent or together with the family! (physical, mental and language violence, minimum duration, intensity and number of scenes, nudity)

After the great success of "The Forest of the Hanged" at the end of 2018, Radu Afrim returns to NTB with "Three Sisters" - An Un(usually)  Free Script Based on Chekhov. It is known that Afrim rarely stages classic drama, directing either contemporary texts or his own scripts. However, when he sets about dealing with classic works, he produces highly personal and exciting adaptations, with a strong impact on viewers. The worlds he recreated based on classic texts might have been controversial, disturbing, but his shows never left anyone indifferent.

Radu Afrim challenges the audience once again, offering a remix of a classic play, a hallucinating and highly topical revival of a story told hundreds of times before.  A powerful, original and shocking production that, like all the works made by Afrim, will take the viewers out of their comfort zone. Far from the theater shows in which the Russian spirit is rendered through clichés, "Three Sisters" by Radu Afrim proposes a surrealist vision, a mixture of absurd, comic, grotesque, but also of deep sensitivity, which places the story of the three sisters in today’s Romania. In his new NTB show, Afrim creates a universe that is molded to the receptivity of the contemporary public, with obvious references to the present, but which integrates so well into the world imagined by Chekhov over 100 years ago. 
NTB’s "Three Sisters" is not a "Chekhovian" enactment in the established sense of the term, but it offers a distinct, recognizable vision, in the style that imposed Radu Afrim as one of the most unconventional and gifted theatre directors in Romania.
The show boasts a cast comprising some of the most famous actors of the moment and is created alongside a team of innovative artists, with whom Afrim constantly collaborates (Irina Moscu - stage design, Andrei Cozlac - video design, Calin Topa – sound design).

Masha: Raluca Aprodu Olga: Natalia Călin
Irina: Flavia Giurgiu Prozorov: Marius Manole
Versinin: Emilian Oprea Tuzenbach: Istvan Teglas
Versinin`s wife: Irina Movilă Natalia Ivanovna: Ada Galeș
Bobi k68: Ciprian Nicula Kulighin: Florin Călbăjos

“The originality of the script and of the ideas that build each character's interior are the backbone of a solid show, rebuilding Chekhov's world with intelligence, but also with kindness / empathy towards characters and their wounds that are in many ways ours. A maturation of the creator is felt in this treatment that has only vague echoes of the cruelty whereby the same characters were treated in a completely different, but equally iconoclastic version that Radu Afrim gave the same play in 2003."

Cristina Modreanu, Scena Magazine - Three Sisters nowadays: contemporary soliloquies inspired by Chekhov

"Afrim does not stage the great Chekhovian play, nor does he adapt it, but he continues it. He regards the text-princeps as a letter received from a great distance (a century and something), which he reads and which he finds fit to answer. An open letter in response to an open letter. Because what else is a published text?”

Mihai Brezeanu, Liternet - We breathe the kindness of those who are no longer among us - Three Sisters

"A show in which the arts blend in a hallucinating manner: dance, poetry, film and music, all involved in a kind of dramatic irony, meant to resuscitate any prejudice about the theatrical act. "Three Sisters" is a play that needs to be revisited, the amalgam of subtleties is not easy to digest in the moments of tension that absolutely surprising scenes provoke."

Tudor Voicu, The Book Agency - Chekhov, Romania and the political correctness seen through Bobik K68’s helmet 

“Thanks to the sumptuous imagery and the directing ingenuity, the spectator can watch this existential (cosmic)“ race ”, understanding that Three Sisters is a deeply reflective show. In this universe, everything is comedy: love, hope, existence itself, and Radu Afrim rewrites the dogmas of idealism, dictated by the venerable Chekhov."

Madalina Dumitrache, Bel Esprit - Odyssey of Melancholy - Three Sisters

“I no longer wonder why, how much and how I like Radu Afrim's plays, preferring to watch only how they spread in the flesh of the soul, as a vaccine against carelessness, indifference and the mundane. (…) The chemistry of the actors - and they are also caught by the meanings of the text - and the way their characters take over the stage - impressive for each of them, are instants of brilliance in which they become protagonists, in a sometimes dazzling dynamic and with an exhausting physicality."

Michaela Platon, Radio Romania Cultural - Radu Afrim and Three Sisters - an (un)usually free script based on Chekhov, an initiatory journey in search of the personal ikigai

"Three Sisters" - an (un)usually free script based on Chekhov is an (un)permittedly contemporary museum of the art of thoughts on theatre and the world. And from here, the show can be required to be analyzed in four, five, ten, one hundred, one thousand words or even more, because all the work of the author with the platitudes or the avant-garde of the cultural expectations of contemporary man, bombarded with a great variety of stimuli from which he has a continuous choice, can only be fascinating.”

Luciana Antofi, Blog - The thoughts of the Afrim sisters in the National megaphone or the first hundred years with three sisters

“Radu Afrim does not stage texts, situations, dramatic characters. His shows are in the "meta", "beyond" area. So, for those who might be deceiving, this "Three Sisters" is not "yet another" Chekhov. In fact, who would need "another Chekhov"? (...) Afrim proposes to us to experience something else: to listen to the silence between the retorts, to penetrate the fiber of thoughts, to re-enact the word convolutions from another perspective. In other words, let us suspend for the moment everything we know (or believe we know), all the certainties, and throw ourselves into it. A vital leap into a redeeming abyss.”

Razvana Nita, Blog - Elegy for “the sweat of the soul”   

“I stayed overnight in the birch forest with the three sisters. With Masha, sighing after the lost love, with Irina, a deer struggling in flames, with Olga, telling me that life is not over yet - we must live, work (...) Radu Afrim writes and rewrites, adds important puzzle pieces to the story of the sisters, imagines and writes their thoughts, places them in a modern world, in a provincial city of Romania, dreaming of their Moscow, thus even more remote.” 

Veronica Niculescu, Blog - “Three Sisters” and us, in our small birch forests  

But Afrim's "Three Sisters" is not a political play, but a contemporary one. Surrounded by the imagination of the unimaginable, devised by scenographer and architect Irina Moscu. Ennobled by the way the director knows how to irritate the optic nerves of the audience with nudity, with images from our "Space Odyssey" of our Mr. Stanley Kubrick, with decomposed motion sequences and recomposed in a succession of shocking stage performances (exceptional, Flavia Giurgiu and Istvan Teglas). And protected by the thin, but not at all weak, threads of Radu Afrim's passion to create a sound universe - moving, insinuating, screaming, eclectic, borrowing the cadence of the stage movement as a conductor who dominates the orchestra - at every show.

Horia Ghibutiu, Blog - "Three Sisters" from the transplendent parallel universe of Radu Afrim  


Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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