by Tim Crouch
Translation: Andrei Marinescu
Directed by: Bobi Pricop
Set Design: Lia Dogaru
Music: Eduard Gabia
Technical Direction: Cristian Petec
Prompter: Adrian Țîrcă
Cast:: laudiu Bleonț, Ioana Florentina Manciu, Vlad Drăgulescu, Vlad Udrescu
Premiere date: 03 November 2017
Duration: 100 min
Genre of the show: Drama
**show recommended for audiences over 16 years old
The show directed by Bobi Pricop tells the story of another play: a violent, shocking and abusive play written by a screenwriter named Tim Crouch, and recounts the effect the show had on the two actors who starred in it, the screenwriter who wrote the play, and an audience member who watched it. It also makes connections to the wider world in which such a play might be written and presented to an audience saturated with violent imagery and governed by the need for impact of any kind. It also examines the consequences of this need for mediatisation in both art and everyday life. "The Author" is a show about what it means to be a spectator and about our responsibilities as free people, beyond and beyond any involvement. You can't simply remain neutral or indifferent.
"In the show performed at the "Marin Sorescu" National Theater in Craiova, Bobi Pricop moves the spotlight on the audience, refusing theatrical conventions and proposing an unusual performance formula. The author Tim Crouch dismantles the canonical theatrical art from the writing, counting on the participation of the audience in the creative process. (…) Crouch's stage rhetoric delivers to the audience not a pre-constructed performance, but one that is completed by the viewer's involvement. The author is basically about the spectator, about how he can potentiate, through direct intervention, the dramaturgical intensity. (…) The springs of the audience's fantasy are stimulated by the new stage context, in a pulverized, monologued storytelling, which erases the interaction between the characters, cancels the stage relationships. The performers speak their lines sitting in the audience, they are there only to tell what traumatic experiences they went through working together on a show. (…) There are four narratives that intersect and weave, from head to tail, generating the story of a terrible spectacle through the atrocities they re-present. It is a retrospective narrative built from sequences with great visual power, from which the viewer composes what in classical terms means the show. Different times and theatrical places intertwine, in a mosaic sequence of perspectives, and the assembly is made in the mind of the one who watches and listens."
Oltița Cîntec - Zero degree of theatricality / Culture Supplement / no. 623/12 nov. 2018
"Controversial playwright, the British Tim Crouch is known for blowing up the conventions of dramatic art. (…) What Crouch does is to tie the text very closely to the performance, not leaving the director too much creative space. The stake of his plays is not related to the validation of power, but to the configuration of a new network of relationships between the author, actors, director, audience, which takes everyone out of their comfort state. (…) The author works in two directions: one is related to the cancellation of theatrical conventions, the second is related to the violence that surrounds us daily. Both directions concern the responsibility - of art and the media - towards the public and the constant exposure to violence. (…)
Bobi Pricop's decision to keep the names of British actors as characters is correct: a convention accepted by everyone is established. (…)
And a final question: what is the role of the director here, if the author's indications are precise and the performance cannot be done otherwise? One possible answer: to ensure that the entire theatrical architecture, unspectacular by the norm but spectacular outside the norm (the unconventional convention), is precisely established. And Bobi Pricop does exactly that.
Oana Stoica – Teatrul ca stare de disconfort / Scena 9 / 14 nov. 2018
"Tim Crouch leaves ample room for expression to the viewer. Who is asked, invited, more precisely said, challenged/summoned to intervene in the show, not as a disturbing factor, but even as a producer with rights in some places comparable to those of the author or the actors. He, the spectator, has a proxy in the person of the one who, in the case of the National Craiove performance, is called Vlad. After the name of the actor who plays him and does it with unparalleled charm. It is about the young actor Vlad Udrescu. But he, the spectator, also has the right to intervene at times, directly in the performance that shows him how it is done. (…) Dizzying? Probable. But from this confusion is born the illusion. The superior illusion. Artistic. I mean the theater!"
Mircea Morariu, How to do it - Yorick, no. 428, 13.11.2018, https://yorick.ro/cum-se-face/
"The Author is about us, what we see and what we choose to see..it's a dizzying, no-holds-barred theatrical experience, opening our eyes to what should be blindingly obvious: each of us can choose .” — Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
"The author is by turns funny, maddening, thrilling, ponderous or jaw-dropping, and I don't think I'll ever forget her." — Dominic Maxwell, The Times
It's about abuse on behalf of the viewer. It's a story about hope, violence and exploitation. Laugh with the actors, tap your feet to the music and turn your eyes to the person in the next seat.
The "author" just uses words to show us things, and sometimes the things portrayed by those words are disturbing.
The show tells the story of another play: a violent, shocking, and abusive play written by a screenwriter named Tim Crouch and chronicles the effect the show had on the two actors who starred in it, the screenwriter who wrote the play, and an audience member who watched it. It also makes connections to the wider world in which such a play might be written and presented to an audience saturated with violent imagery and governed by the need for impact of any kind. It also examines the consequences of this need for mediatisation in both art and everyday life. "The Author is a play about what it means to be a spectator and our responsibilities as spectators. It explores the connection between what we see and how we choose to behave.
"I strongly believe that we have lost our sense of responsibility for what we choose to look at." says Tim Crouch.
As a spectator, I love the feeling I get when I don't have to participate in something; just paying attention when a performance is happening. But Tim Crouch, in his famously experimental spirit, wants you to be watched, moved, self-aware; to be robbed of your comfort as a spectator. You begin to realise this when you enter the auditorium: there's no stage, just two blocks of seats facing each other, almost stadium-like. By the time the play starts, you're just facing the privilege of the other people in the audience and wondering where the actors are going to sit: at the edge of the auditorium, where there isn't even any light? Are they going to wander among the seats? Until, after all this fades into silence (and silence lasts a while, it embarrasses you), you find that the actors start talking away from you. The four (Claudiu Bleonț, Ioana Florentina Manciu, Vlad Drăgulescu and Vlad Udrescu) are scattered around the audience, and the beginning of the performance comes so naturally that you wonder whether or not it's part of the play. Therein lies the danger, perhaps, because when the story enters the auditorium, you don't even expect it, and it's far too late to raise your guard. (..)
The performance we are attending tells, in fact, another performance from multiple perspectives: of the author (Claudiu Bleonț), of the two actors (Vlad Drăgulescu and Ioana Manciu) and of the spectator (Vlad Udrescu). Wrapped in violent and abominable images, in traumas and abuses, the show also creates a second plane - the one in which it shows the audience the process by which artists create a role, and then the performance on stage, and poses a sensitive question: how does the actor change after working on a character? But the powerful, shocking moments remain those in which Ioana Manciu plays a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her father and his friends when she was just 12, and the final sequence that you can't help but see: the association of pornographic images with the presence of a baby. Tim Crouch's disgusting universe is very hard to imagine, let alone watch on stage.
Oana Bogzaru, Yorick magazine
"In a world where you are surrounded by gestures and acts of aggression, violence, abuse, abominable, macabre, bloody, disgusting events, director Bobi Pricop provokes reflection, through Tim Crouch's harsh text (translation Andrei Marinescu): where are we, where do we position ourselves, do we know how to react, do we make the right choices or do we let ourselves be carried away, do we still have discernment?
The director doesn't open the way to answers. He just shows us, he puts life situations on the wallpaper, mixes them up, good with bad, and increases the intensity of the horrors to a climax where you feel disgust and revulsion numb you.
The answers are always with us. In our choices."
Corina Dima, Metropolis Newspaper, 6 November 2017
"Basically, the scene is us looking at each other.
- eager not to assert myself, so I had no lines, although I could have - the excellence of the text lies, among other things, precisely in the fact that whatever you say and do as an audience member during the two intense hours in which actors and audience exchange lines, seems both appropriate and already written. The "author", as only a theatrical demiurge can do, has foreseen everything.
- aware that I am witnessing a practical demonstration of the #metoo hashtag (you know, the testimonies of assaulted women, determined to make their traumas public on social media), with the notable difference that in "The perpetrator" we also witness a self-confession by the perpetrator.
- turning my head after my fellow performers. And after the casual ones, i.e. the spectators who intervened on request or voluntarily, and after Claudiu Bleonț (Tim), Ioana Florentina Manciu (Esther), Vlad Drăgulescu (Vic), Vlad Udrescu (Vlad). The real actors in "The Author" make up a cast that, thanks to director Bobi Pricop, is a "perfect match" like when you're lucky to find what you're looking for the first time after swiping right on Tinder."