by Hanoch Levin, directed by Radu Afrim
How I met my husband
The wife: Virginia Rogin
Light as a snowflake
The Dreamer: Călin Stanciu jr.
The Slowman: Istvan Teglas
The Chick: Nicoleta Lefter
The Narrator: Nicoleta Lefter
Clowns: Istvan Teglas, Călin Stanciu
Mrs. Potustria: Virginia Rogin
Mrs. Marcus: Antoaneta Zaharia
The Students: Istvan Teglas, Călin Stanciu jr.
The Tourist: Dorina Lazăr
The chief commander of Chinese army
The husband who grows less
She: Antoaneta Zaharia
In front of the door
If I were you
The Exalted: Pavel Bartoş
The Husband: Ionel Mihăilescu
The Transylvanian Woman: Antoaneta Zaharia
The Mother in Law: Liana Mărgineanu
The Carol Singer: Călin Stanciu jr.
The Goat: Istvan Teglas
The Neighbours: Virginia Rogin, Gabriel Spahiu, Nicoleta Lefter
The great anxiety
After 30 years
The hat which becomes bag
Such hope at the end
Directed by: Radu Afrim
Stage design: Iuliana Vîlsan
Music: Vlaicu Golcea
Choreography: Istvan Teglas
Video: Laura Iancu
Translated by: Doru Mareș
And how many know that they are hoping under their own responsibility?
And more how many know to deal with the deception provoked by what we pathetically name “the collapse of hopes”?
People from these 20 short texts I’ve chosen are not asking for much. One hopes to find a companion to follow him in the fantastic trip on the pedestrian crossing, other hopes to see his wife in the magician’s black box full of tricky diamonds, an actress hopes to learn entirely a song without being out of the tune or to dance bossa nova “with all the moves”, another fully hopes to receive a blue hat that has its origins from the end of Australia, o geography teacher hopes to convince the world the Earth is flat and she even succeeds, a dreamer hopes the hot dog saleswoman to be transformed in Caroline of Monaco, an exalted guy hopes to enter in a man’s shoes only to touch his wife’s breasts, o woman “wants a change/my life is a failure”, a man hopes to reclaim his wallet forgotten to a former mistress some decades ago.
And then how much hope entered (and got out) somewhere from the doors of our set design… doors taken from the demolished houses. To all this I would ask you to think about when nothing is told on the stage…
Visceral and painful as a testament, Such hope brings together 20 sketches belonging to Hanoch Levin, sketches that speak in an absurd, grotesque, often trivial language, about missed characters and universes in dissolution.
The director has built this show from a position that will always give him the possibility to turn the theatre upside down – the one of a multi awarded orchestrator. It is an angle of which he can afford to risk. Then, he also has within reach a not insignificant item: his courage.
With an adapted text that sounds very good in Romanian, Radu Afrim throws the audience into several parallel universes. His fantasy game is complete. The characters talk colorful, dress flashy, communicate coded, understand each other perfectly and create their own moments of glory, of which almost always come with dignity uncircumcised.
The world in which all of them live their “20 deep trip” is delimited by doors and keys, the images of flying fishes as in Arizona Dreaming, imaginary objects and flowers stuck on windows, chalk lines and bottles of milk. Everyone minds his own story, dragging his follies and his hopes.
World, world, go to the theater! You’ll see clowns, magicians, chicks, kangaroos, teachers, peasants, dancers of all past ages, Chinese, Nana Mouskouri, dairy guys, singers and Rodica Mandache in the role of Rodica Mandache. But it is not so simple: they are all passed through Afrim’s magic lens, who I beg not ever play in his home with his obsessions.
Everything happens (actually, nothing is happening) in the neighborhood space. At the limit, all the protagonists are neighbors of existence, of survival in a spacious courtyard as the Garden of Eden. Hanoch Levin drama offers us a very special universe, seemingly domestic issues, broken relationships between people, a mixture of irony and cynicism. The show has a sharp sense of humor, aseptic, very British but also ionescian, in an excellent translation signed by Doru Mares.