“I like very much the idea of people not knowing who I am. It means that I have a chance to be uncovered. What I am very fond of is to uncover and to be uncovered. This is why I work in theater. If I work in theater to rehearse what I already know, I would stop tomorrow. I have the same curiosity as I did when I was 15 years old. I am curious to find out what I don’t know and this is why I engage into spiritual journeys with every show.”
“If you are involved with your entire being into theater, then you lead the life of a nomad. I consider myself more of a professional nomad than a nomadic professional.”
“While making art, you are obsessed by it, and while you are obsessed, as Ingmar Bergman said, you have a sort of wild cat in your stomach.”
“Theater has saved me and after that it almost strangled me, because I ran away from living. I thought that living meant being in the theater and I ran away from real life, I isolated myself from it.”
“I am convinced that the artist’s vocation is poverty. If you are rich as an artist, something within you starts to languish and you no longer ask yourself questions.”
(Andrei Șerban, Romanian TV show, Profesioniștii)
Last night was the fifth night of the open rehearsals of the great production Carousel a free adaptation by Andrei Șerban and Daniela Dima after the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnár and the movie bearing the same name directed by Fritz Lang.
What great present has offered Bulandra Theater to the audience from Bucharest in these unbearable hot summer days. Without being aware of it, these 5 days I took mainly pictures of the lights that play an important role in the show, as it helps the audience to have a better picture of the mysterious world depicted with immesurable forces on stage. The light design was created by Alexandru Darie and Andrei Șerban. What an amazement!
Now let us get to the characters, as you may have come across them at some point in time.
Liliom is a great carousel entertainer whose super-power is his inability to apologize for things he does out of fury and inner pain. There is this line uttered by his wife and his child – He hit me, but not hurt me, it felt like a caress. There is this song that actually supports this line.
Julie is the typical country girl whose great attribute is to take it all from everyone and turn her miserable reality into a positive one. I was inspired by Julie’s strength and her capacity to overcome painful things and still lead a nice quiet life near the man she loved, although his signs of love for her are frankly a bit odd. But I do not intend to start a quarrel with the playwright as he must have been really delighted watching from Heaven the work done by Romanian artists. He did wrote this play 106 years ago and still its theme manages to catch the interest of directors surpassing nationalities and time.
It would be too convenient if death were the end of everything.
Madame Muscat is the owner of the carousel, that kind of woman who men fall at her feet, but she desires the most undesirable man, that actually ignores her. His rejection makes her want him more and more. The female battle for man conquest begins. Only that is has actually one fighter screaming her love out loud at the carousel and on the railway. The other one suffers in silence. The silent suffernce is the most painful as it never cures. You learn to live with it, as Julie did.
Albert is the so called friend who is always singing and appearing when you are in trouble and he offers to help you in exchange of something. How can a happy musical man do so much damage to the one he calls friend? Perhaps we need to come up with a new interpretation of the definition of friendship – serving the other for their own does not mean to serve your shabby interests. Why did Albert become this greedy fellow under the suit of a merry man? His rapacity for easy money from robbery costed Liliom his life.
As far as I perceived the character of Liliom in these 5 days of previews it seems like he is easy to manipulate, he falls for everything that is untrue, then he regrets it by turning to violence. His violence seems to be his act of erasing his faults. I did not empathize with that. I think there is no excuse for violence, except from protecting yourself and the ones around you. Apart from that side I did not fully understand from the text’s play, I was totally blown away the efforts of the cast, artistic and tehnical crew, everyone envolved in this project. The energy I felt after each of their performance has come in different shapes and sizes, and although I spent all of my food money on the tickets, I left the theater feeling full each night. But I am still hungry for the next show.
This hunger for taking part of the theatrical miracle that happens only a fixed time in a certain place bustles inside and outside myself as if I was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because has given me a lot. A curse because it has cutted off so many of other possible options. But I do not regret dedicating myself to promoting theater among all other arts. You can see the work of a musician, painter, film-maker anytime, while the theatrical work, well, that is a special meeting that seldom happens for just a few of us. Be that lucky one! Go to the theater!
Congratulations to Bulandra Theater for hosting the open rehearsals !