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The elephant in the room or the vibrator play

Translation: Dragoş Alexandru Muşoiu

Directed by: Dragoş Alexandru Muşoiu

Decoration: Andreea Simona Negrilă

Costumes: Elena Gheorghe

Music: Tibor Cári

Directed Technical : George Dulămea

Prompter: Ramona Popa

Premiere date: 15 Martie 2017

Cast:: Cerasela Iosifescu, Claudiu Bleonț, Iulia Lazăr, Vlad Udrescu, Angel Rababoc, Ramona Drăgulescu, Alina Mangra

Duration: 180 min with break

Genre of the show: Dark Comedy

**show not open to the public under 18 years of age

Synopsis

In a setting reminiscent of Dr. Caligari's office, the characters of the show "The Elephant in the Room or The Vibrator Play" discover unsuspected meanings in their love lives... and beyond. Doctor Givings, self-proclaimed scientist, admirer of Thomas Alva Edison, experiments in the area of repressed sexuality, through the electrical impulses of a device he built. Nothing but a vibrator that gives shivers to Mrs. Daldry, the patient brought in by her husband, Mr. Daldry, a conservative man who finds himself in love with the doctor's wife. Mrs. Daldry is suffering from hysteria, and the diagnosis is made quickly and efficiently by Dr. Givings. Treated with the miracle vibrator, either by the doctor or by his assistant, a woman with a...philosophical temperament, Mrs. Daldry returns to the woman that Mr. Daldry knew in his youth, but makes a coup de foudre for the vibrator and demands more frequent sessions . With such scientific successes, Mr. Givings somewhat neglects his wife, but takes the time to find a nurse for his little girl, as Mrs. Givings does not have enough milk to feed her. Mrs. Givings sees her life doomed to failure: her child is nursed by another woman, and the doctor is more concerned with his inventions than her needs. As a result, she does justice to herself: she enters her husband's office, a sacrosanct space that had been denied her until then, and discovers... the vibrator. From here to the comical situations that are triggered in the cascade is only one step. Which the show's heroes, joined by Leo, a "defective" artist himself treated by Dr. Givings, do with the nonchalance of marionettes wielded by a sarcastic demiurge. The dawn of electricity has done well!

Chronicles:

"It is the credit of the director Dragoș Alexandru Mușoiu to have transformed this modest piece into a brilliant show. He had the remarkable idea of relying on the polyphony of voices. He built memorable scenes, like the one where all the characters come to life to the tune of Mozart's alla turca march. The most original intervention was the abolition of the difference between painting and model. The character Leo, after the rectal massage, regains the desire to paint and takes as his model the telluric negress, Elizabeth. He paints her as a madonna, but not on canvas, but on her very body, which he takes in his arms as if it were his own painting. And the fact that the negress is not black, but is painted black, is an interesting one, recalling Chris Ofili's famous madonna, which caused a scandal by being partially painted with elephant excrement. It is a mystery how a play with no scope can be the pretext for a great show. Let's not try to understand, but enjoy."

Adrian Mihalache, SpectActor, nr 1/2017

 

"The premiere of the show "Elephant in the room" or "Vibrator play" by Sarah Ruhl from the National Theater in Craiova is a good opportunity to reevaluate the artistic and managerial potential of the theater from Bănie, which is on its way to reinvent itself. Sarah Ruhl, American Pulitzer and Tony award-winning playwright, is not a frequent name on Romanian posters. Even Dragoş Alexandru Muşoiu did not reach the stage of consecration after a remarkable debut on the same stage (Spargerea). Choosing the play with the original title In the next room or Vibrator play, rechristened The elephant in the room, the young director takes another step towards defining his concerns in the direction of an art theater with an intellectual stake, aestheticizing in the good sense of the word due to the stylistic consistency of his efforts (…)

The cast is a great support for this exciting show in every way. Claudiu Beonț as the doctor, a sort of museum-pumped Faust, cleverly juggles the reality and fantasy of his condition, creating a character whose butaphoria is effectively exposed in the finale when he demonstratively removes his wig to throw himself naked into his wife's arms. Cerasela Iosifescu adopts an affected behaviour (she moves and speaks like a puppet), a sign that the doctor's wife is the first to suffer the effects of her altered condition as a woman. The actress achieves a beautiful creation here. To the other characters, the director assigns caricature masks that the performers personalize through their demonstrated ability to animate puppets on stage, as in the case of Julia Lazăr-Bleonț, the lady in love with the vibrator, and the young man with youthful charm, Vlad Udrescu, a picturesque figure as an imaginary painter disputed by the sentimentally amputated women. Ramona Drăgulescu also makes a reference appearance in the speechless role of the nurse, Angel Rababoc plays an inconsistent salonard character from an emphatic attitude, Alina Mangra, the doctor's strange assistant who contributes to the derision of the "scientific" procedure (minus the frequency and realistic exaggerations of the use of the vibrator)."

Doina Papp, Between technology and nature, Adevărul.ro, March 28, 2017

 

Dragoş Alexandru Muşoiu has the merit of having addressed a challenge to the public in Bănie, introducing them to a bolder, more non-conformist text by a young theater writer. Which, according to her own confession, reproduced in the theater notebook of the performance (notebook edited by Nicolae Coande), was inspired to write the song In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play from events that took place in the 19th century. The second considerable merit of Dragoş-Alexandru Muşoiu is that of having composed what is called a flawless cast. Or almost. Cerasela Iosifescu (Ms. Givings), who I find again in great form, Claudiu Bleonţ (Mr. Givings), more disciplined and more applied to the role than ever in recent years, Iulia Lazăr (remarkable, in first row, through mime, with knowledge in Mrs. Daldry), Angel Rababoc (commendable by the over-theatricality of the composition of Mr. Daldry's role), Vlad Udrescu (expansive, devouring spaces in Leo), Ramona Drăgulescu (Elizabeth) and Alina Mangra (Annie). Finally, I cannot fail to note the credit that the new management of the Marin Sorescu National Theater in Craiova (general director - Alexandru Boureanu, artistic director - Vlad Drăgulescu) gives to young directors. In this season alone, we have seen here three productions worth taking into account, signed by Alexandru Istudor (The Other Country), Andrei Măjeri (Bloody Wedding) and now Dragoş-Alexandru Muşoiu. At more!

Mircea Morariu, The Praise of Electricity, Adevărul.ro, March 24, 2017

"The young - and promising, it must be said - director has cleverly called on various comic devices in his performance, which has a notable unity despite the multiple manners of play or meaning addressed. Throughout the performance, there are elements/moments of ostentatious theatricality, others of absurd mechanism, melodramatic, etc... In the Next Room is a well-made show, beyond its small flaws - all correctable. An unbridled comedy with a tasty subject, under the canvas of which a little drama is hidden. A successful bet by Dragoș Mușoiu and a new opportunity for acting virtuosity for the actors from Craiova."

Claudiu Groza, From the dawn of feminism: a story about femininity, Tribuna, 1-15 April 2017

 

"Just as Sarah Ruhl bent over a still taboo subject, Dragoş Muşoiu has the merit of installing the naturalness of orgasm in a show that includes the spectators in the story. It is fascinating how an immersion in the end of the 19th century is perceived as a public recognition of a truth that, officially, no one dared to assume...

Claudiu Bleonț is very convincing when he reproaches himself for mixing up plans. On the other hand, the story of the Givings family, a recipe for success in the performance of the two great actors, brings another layer of the play's ideas to the fore: how do we choose our couples in life? Cerasela Iosifescu, with the most homogeneous, in altitude, acting in the show, gives a perfect portrayal of the spouses and underlines the above question."

Marius Dobrin, The unfinished lines of human threads, SpectActor, no. 1/2017

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