"The Old Man and the Euthanasia Man" is a performance that invites us to meditate on an acute problem of the contemporary world: the problem of assisted death, to which are added complementary themes concerning otherness (ethnic, religious, sexual, etc.). These are the pretext in particular. Time, with its dramas, is seen as an inevitable race towards degradation. At the end of his life, the Old Man wants to end this race by consciously mastering his own death, like the philosopher in the Platonic dialogue Phaidon, who "learns" to die, prepares himself for death. Instead of a "cold death", which mutilates the human being, "gentle death" appears, through the presence of eros, but also through the reinterpreted religious symbols that the "Last Supper" suggests. The one who knows he will die speaks to the others with mysterious meanings. The act of taming death thus acquires an initiatory dimension. The actors in the unfolding drama are trapped in the vortex of their own conception of the world and cannot get out of their narrow circle of passions, vices and interests.
Theatre? It all started with a play, in the 90s. I get it from Plato's dialogues. The old man imagined Athens as a huge stage, where Socrates wore the mask of irony and pulled the tongues of his fellow citizens to see what was in their... heads. Because they didn't really want to talk about it... And so I invented an eristic dialogue, but with myself. As I was writing prose from time to time, and publishing here and there, I also imagined theatre. It's true that during my studies I had formed a fairly solid cinema culture (at the Cinemateca) and theatre culture (at the Bulandra, the Teatrul Mic, the Nottara, etc.). I had even done some acting as a student. Literary imagination was my nightly "drama". Alternating day-night often saved me from anxieties, from their cavern. By the time the Drama contest came along, I already had a few drafts. I continued one. And it came out
"Ionel Bușe has written a play that takes me back to Plato's dialogues, placing himself on either side of contemporary attitudes towards one subject or another. Because from the theme of euthanasia, which is central, there are many other themes that are burning up Romanian society today. In fact we are dealing with a reflection of the discourses facilitated by the mass media and, for some time now, by social networks. The characters are grouped into 'modernists' and 'conservatives' and they face each other less or not at all in a real debate than in a cavalcade of the deaf. They would rather throw out the ideas they believe in or the prejudices that animate them than search for the meanings they can all relate to. Hence the scenographic construction of Vlad Drăgulescu, who also took on the direction. The author invokes, outside the text, a reference to the mystery dinner, but here the table of that dinner is broken into two segments placed obliquely to the axis that crosses the stage from its depths towards the spectator. In a way, a kind of mirror image is created of one character in relation to the other: the conservative to the viewer's left, the progressive to the viewer's right. At the head of the sharp angle that emerges is placed a 'stone' that is in fact neither philosophical nor religious (specifically Christian): there we have the absence and then the presence of the one who caused the story, the Old Man who wants to be euthanized. And he represents, after all, our essence, the humanity in us, the flesh and soul that governs us. A rather small role in terms of stage presence but very well played by Eugen Titu. With depth, with restrained but strongly meaningful, visible gestures."
At the head of the angle, by Marius Dobrin, SpectActor, no. 3/2018