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House with meerkats

„Amza Pellea” Hall

by David Drábek

Translation: Mircea Dan Duță

Directed by: Radu Afrim

Assistant Director: Cătălin Mihai Miculeasa

Set Design: Irina Moscu

Univers sonor: Radu Afrim

Sound design: Călin Țopa

Technical Direction: Cristi Petec

Prompter: Adrian Țîrcă

Premiere date: 20 April 2019

Duration: 180 min with break

Genre of the show: Tragi-Comedy

**show recommended for audiences over 16 years old


In a house full of meerkats, besides hoofed birds and a dead mole, live three sisters. The youngest sister is haunted by the memory of an insane mother and hasn't left the meerkats for a year since her father's sudden death. The BIG one snuggled in front of the TV and ate herself into immobility. The middle sister is the only one who works to maintain the house with meerkats. Everywhere and everywhere the spirit of a fake Buddha rules. The girls are trapped in this extravagant universe. Three men come into their lives and disrupt their existence.


"If in other performances of the director there were only touches of this kind that imprinted the language, as Afrimian elements of spectacular construction, here a new language is practically created, supporting the cloistering of the sisters who delimit their territory not only physically, but also through language … Are you dreaming? asks the director at the beginning of the show and lets go of this absurd, romantic, comical and nightmarish dream at the same time. It is Afrim's universe, with real and unreal characters ("former" characters, says the Undertaker in Hamlet) that coexist in a space on the edge of the imaginary, a world that suffocates in its own fears and fantasies.

As in most of his performances, Afrim makes the convulsions of the emotional visible."

Oana Stoica, Three meerkats, Dilema veche, no. 794, 9-15 May 2019


"The sensitive show designed by Radu Afrim tries to tell about the universal something and someone in us, it tries a transcendent positioning starting from and focusing on the particularity of some people and their life situations as they are seen in the text of David Drábek, translated by Mircea Dan Duţă... a dream-like atmosphere in which the setting involves natural elements (water, grass), animals that seem to be in a state between life and death (meerkats that move, without being alive and whose appearance does not lead you the thought of taxidermy), an animated buddha perched on top of things, sort of upstairs, light-bulb eagles and a sign slowly descending and from which the white neon asks us are you dreaming?”

Mădălina Nica, With at least "a touch of empathy" about a lot of tenderness, SpectActor magazine no. 1/2019


"... women are the bearers of the message. The most spectacular is spoken by Raluca Păun at the inflection point of the show, after a sufficient accumulation of sympathy from the audience. Bursts on stage faithfully reproducing the character played by Divine (drag queen, here's another "mole gallery" that Afrim "digs" in the show) in Pink Flamingos, reference to the current "abject art" - starting point for a post discussion -spectacle, delivers a well-paced speech that amazes, then ignites and excites the spectators as at an election meeting. Even if they may not realize very well everything they are told: trash movies, "no more multiplex movies", "no more skinny women", they can't help but exult at this point of the "manifesto": "we should play in the movies, us, with our real names". And Radu Afrim's creation is supported on the basis of this manifesto."

Marius Dobrin, The covers of our lives, SpectActor magazine, no. 1/2019


The scenography - as always, full of curds and flamboyant - of Irina Moscu offers the amalgamated stories an optimal space for unfolding, both from a functional and expressive point of view. As always, the stage picture of Afrim's performances seems drawn from moment to moment. Integrated into the scaffolding, the characters acquire a plastic individuality that stimulates their evolution, as signs of ideas. All the actors become bearers of the burden and surrender their individuality to the dramaturgical gear, in order to regain it, enriched and ennobled. In a ritual with many rhythm breaks that ensure the pulsation of a strange, but still alive organism, with oscillations from the grotesque to the dreamlike, the TROUP (ie Raluca Păun, Iulia Lazăr, Ramona Drăgulescu, Alex Calangiu, Claudiu Mihail, Vlad Udrescu, Cătălin Miculeasa, Romanita Ionescu, Constantin Cicort) demonstrate their homogeneity, strength and talent. What is right, the creator of the show rewards their devotion and skill with great solutions, managing to value them, despite the unusual manner in which the characters are constructed from a dramaturgical point of view. The modernity and originality of the approach are beyond any doubt. De(con)constructivism has come to power. And this is an absolute one. We laugh, before we go crazy and wake up homogeneously homogenized in the mixer of the times.

Bogdan Burileanu,


With a little care and a touch of patience, all the narrative threads close at the end, like the door of the house where the ghosts with the role of parents' crutch leave, to leave behind the present that kind of denies its hope. A rather slow show, with an atmosphere, jazz and mood (despite the unexpected acceleration of events near the end and the remarkable dynamics of the two monologues, one in each half, of the excellent Raluca Păun), House of meerkats it depends on the form of the actors and the goodwill of the spectators. The shape of the first ones can give the three hours a charming fluency, the goodwill of the last ones can lead to the understanding of the carefully-camouflaged meanings and to the soaking of emotions in sight.

Mihai Brezeanu, 


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