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Ion D. Sîrbu Hall

By: Ioana Bradea

Directed by: Cristina Giurgea

Set Design: Ioana Ungureanu

Assistant Director: Gabriela Oprescu

Lightdesign: Doru Ispas

Lights: Alina Mitrache

Sunet: Emy Guran, Dan Feneșan

Technical direction: Mihai Manea

Delegated producer: Marius Pîrlea

Prompter: Adrian Țîrcă

Premiera oficială: 26 februarie 2023

Duration of the show: 2 h without break

**Show with licentious language, forbidden for people under 18 years old 


Băgău is a one-of-a-kind heroic-comic telethon that unfolds over seven days, in the era of confusion and degeneration that Romania entered immediately after a revolution in which hundreds of young people died for freedom. But in capitalism, freedom costs (and demands) money. Andreea, the heroine of Ioana Bradea's novel, is on duty at the erotic phone line where she works on a Friday evening, when the temptations of the weekend are much more heated. The fauna of clients who call her is diverse, spilling out in lexical cascades that make the novel a bric-a-brac of sensations and outpourings of apoplectic erotic natures. Satire, parody coupled with the protagonist's inner drama mix a vortex of states and feelings in which a major part of the illusion of time lost in the first years after the fall of communism is to be found. What seems scabrous at first hearing, however, is actually the echoing and cathartic effect, the critical deafness that the author places on the disgraceful, the deformed in the callers' little lives. A girl who believes in love and the beautiful gifts of life records for us the horrors of the world as it is...


Considered a novel-cult, versatile and intelligently written, Băgău, author Ioana Bradea, was published in 2004 by EST Publishing House, an international publishing house run by Samuel Tastet, known especially for editing Henry Miller's novels.

The novel, reissued in 2020 by Humanitas, gives voice to a hidden voice, to uncensored femininity, the inner voice of all abandoned, confused and forsaken women, thrown into the morass of the post-communist world. A novel of the breakdown and transition to a world in which gender difference is a fine theory marked by brutality and confrontation with the "demons" of capitalist society, but also, in the words of one literary critic, with "the inexhaustible gallery of men caught up in aggressive and toxic fantasies".

Nicolae Coande

"Băgău is primarily a novel, as I said before, not a theatrical text. He should not be read in such a demanding-dramaturgical way because that is not what he is. He is a novel about the pantries of the soul. About lies, about shortcomings, about beautifully packaged but altered things, about dreams, about melancholy, about failures and loves shared or not. As in life. That's what it's all about. About throbbing life. And when you come to see Băgău, you must know that you are not coming to see an epic thread in front of you. You are coming to see a dead poem. Băgău is made of fragments of sensations, of ellipses, of incoherences, fixed as a thought. It's really like a thought. Interrupted, discursive, sequential. If you came to see a story with exposition, plot, unfolding, climax and denouement, you just missed two hours of your life.

If you came to receive some moods, to alternate emotion with a smile, with questions, then it is possible to leave with something".

Actress Iulia Colan (interpretation of the character Andreea) " This taboo topic-Băgău" /


"I found Ioana Bradea's novel harder than its dramatization. Cristina Giurgea intervened here, with great sensitivity. It recreated a world of women, brutal in its language and unhealthy lifestyle, but delicate in its approach to the underlying text. […]Andreea, the heroine, reanimated by Iulia Colan, is a young student, in love with Marius, (Claudiu Mihail) from whom she broke up, but whom she cannot forget. Her suffering is deep. He can no longer find his place anywhere. […] The posture of the actress is a mixture of ingenuity, frond and pessimism that makes her approach the audience, be sympathetic and understood."

Ana Paraschivescu, "I'm not afraid of words", SpectActor no. 1/2023

"Băgău, an adaptation of Ioana Bradea's novel directed by Cristina Giurgea, creates the inner universe of Andrea, a young woman who works at an erotic telephone line (90s - 2000s) and suffers after breaking up with a man. But neither the erotic line nor the man seem exactly stable elements in objective reality, but part of Andrea's subjective reality. The area where the show works very well is creating a clash of solitudes – on the one hand, the girls from the erotic line, with different personal histories and backgrounds, which makes the community heterogeneous, without coagulating it, and on the other hand, the men, an archive of angry, alienating solitudes, a depressing, mentally and emotionally degraded masculinity. They are two worlds that do not meet physically, although there are attempts on one side, always refused by the other. The sound universe reflects this diversity in solitude, from Creep (Radiohead) to Of, my life by Costi Ioniță & Adrian Minune. The hard work, which involves duplication and contact with the desperation and/or aggressiveness of others, marks the girls, each with their own abyss. Of course, the language is up to the "work", licentious, without sweetening the abrasiveness of the environment. Here is a performance by Iulia Colan in the role of Andrea because its score is complex, with multiple sudden transitions from an aggressive epic to a lyrical monologue, which the actress skillfully "choreographs".

Oana Stoica, "Let's talk about the East. 6 shows in 5 days at Piatra Neamț" / Stage 9

"Preparing to write the chronicle of the show, I found on LiterNet a few lines about Băgău, written by the late Alex Leo Sherban. The former editor of Dilema made the critical observation that Ioana Bradea enters the subject too quickly, but, unfortunately, leaves much too late. Thank God, this defect does not transfer to the Craiova show. Which is neither too long nor too short. It's just right. Şerban also said that he had been enthusiastically recommended to read the novel by Radu Cosașu, who, however, had some reservations about the ending. Cristina Giurgea also overcomes this hop thanks to the step-by-step finale, to which the actors Raluca Păun, Claudiu Mihail and, of course, again Iulia Colan contribute. Finally, I find in the fragment recovered by LiterNet, perhaps the most shocking statement. Namely that Băgău would be The human voice of Ioana Bradea. The reference being to the relatively well-known piece by Cocteau. It's just that not so much with Marius, Andreea's ex-boyfriend, handsome, adventurous, effeminate and delighted with himself, flawlessly played by Claudiu Mihail, Andreea talks on the phone. Both she and her colleagues, employed at a hotline company, well and differently played by Edith Mag, Alina Mangra, Anca Maria Ilinca, Costinela Ungureanu and Raluca Păun converse for a fee (only 40,000 lei for 30 seconds), with all kinds of Gigeis, Cornelis, Vasilici to whom actors Ștefan Cepoi, George Albert Costea and Vlad Udrescu lend their voices. "

Mircea Morariu, "Voices and illusions"/

Cristina Giurgea's staging transfers most of these attributes to Andrea, Iulia Colan's character. It's not the case, her colleagues in the erotic line (played by Edith Mag, Monica Ardeleanu - who plays alternately with Anca Maria Ilinca -, Alina Mangra and Costinela Ungureanu) and the patron of the establishment (Raluca Păun) outline with charm and verve the social landscape in which they work Andreea, but somehow the essence of that period portrait is found only in the main heroine. And it's not just about family relationships with the brother played by Cătălin Vieru or with the clean-imaginary-clean-real lover personified by Claudiu Mihail. It is, above all, about a certain sadness, a kind of melancholy that Iulia Colan slips in here and there in her performance and with which something in me and, perhaps, also in other viewers resonates more than we could imagine . "

Mihai Brezeanu, "then. sadness - Bagău at the Piatra Neamț Theater Festival, 2023"/

"With Băgău, Cristina Giurgea invites the public to watch and especially to listen in a different way, beyond prejudices, a show of individual and collective fears, of the not necessarily deadly, not necessarily successful jump, which Andreea does it, which each of us does."
Daniela Firescu, Voices in the night: performance and poetry/ Ramuri magazine no. 4/2023//


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