The Critique of a Critique

Some reviewers presumably commenting upon The National Theatre Festival: 2009 Edition.  The daily papers weren’t particularly eager to reflect the recently closed edition of The National Theatre Festival, as they used to do in the past, probably being overwhelmingly involved into the issues of the everlasting finacial crisis, of the no-existent Government, and so on and so forth. The festival reviews were practically inexistent; the cultural sections of the daily papers limited themselves to announcing the schedule, or to printing some lame review, which describes the mobs herded together to watch some of the plays directed by Radu Afrim, for instance, or which says how low the budget was and…and that would be all.

„Failures”

            Adevarul (The Truth) published, in that sense, „a balance” of the event, on 9th November. (http://www.adevarul.ro/articole/festivalul-national-de-teatru-intre-pozitiv-si-negativ.html). Eager to find out what the journalists who are preoccupied with everything that concerns the theatre think, Yorick read it and got all of a sudden lost for words. Here are some of the reasons why the most recent edition of the National Theatre Festival should be appreciated: 1. for existing; 2. for allowing some students to enter and stand; 3. for including in the show some opera shows produced by theatre directors; 4. for having a special section dedicated to Ionesco, free film projections and some quality shows.

            After some serious thought, as there was no need for more, Yorick has no choice but to ask: What was the use of all those wasted tons of typographical ink?

1. if we were to follow this mischievous reasoning, then we could say indeed: it’s a blessing that we had this one, at least!…; 2. students always come in to see the show after they fight in front of the door and sit or stand, it is a matter of luck; 3,4. the section dedicated to the opera shows produced by theatre directors is a good idea, as well as the other section, dedicated to Eugen Ionesco; as for the free video projections, let’s be serious, they can’t fool anybody, needless to say not even Yorick. The hallucinatory approach is far beyond the author’s own point of view: Not a single word about the performances and the offer, not a single comment or question. Everything is clear, isn’t it?

„Lacunae”

            In the author’s opinion, the deficits of the 2009 edition were the following: 1. „the organisers” did not know how to cope with the mobs; 2. there were some misunderstandings concerning some tickets on which the seat numbers were wrongly printed; 3. some shows were undignified for such festival; 4. the great desillusion was „Princess Turandot”, played at the National Theatre in Sibiu, a show directed by the Ukrainian Andriy Zholdak.

            Unbelievable, though true indeed! An event review of the first water, as they say! 1,2, the author could offer himself to find a company where the organisers could learn how to cope with the mobs, if this seems to him to be a dignified enough thing for a festival (as a matter of fact, the organisers’ distress is inherent and always the same) 3. undeniably, some performances were poor, but a statement is valuable only when accompanied by an argument, no matter its nature or how pale it could be; to say that the performance was poor and nothing more is like not saying anything at all; 4 to state that „Princess Turandot” was a poor performance just because some people left the auditorium means that you possess some judgement criteria that gives you in, revealing a way of thinking…hmm…

            And, in the end, Adevarul Literar si Artistic (The Literary and Artistic Truth) suggests a top of the most interesting shows. Of course, there was no criterion of selection mentioned, not even for the readers’ sake. But what does „the most interesting” mean? Nobody knows it but the authors. They surely love mistery! So i challenge you to tell Yorick what you have learned about the festival from this article.

Translated by Oana Romanescu, MTTLC, 2nd year

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