Marin Sorescu’s play Iona (Jonah), belongs to the theatre of the absurd, and uses dark humour, allegory and subversive wit to reflect on existential themes – such as the beauty, absurdity and tragedy of the human condition, in one continuous monologue, delivered by the fisherman eaten by a whale. What characterizes Sorescu’s style is his unique type of humor, which allows one to empathise with the despair of his characters, while simultaneously looking in from the outside on a ‘strange planet’.
Jonah has been produced by the artist Diana Duta for the first time as a radio play, in an effort to extricate it from its near- anonymous status among audiences outside the Romanian cultural sphere. The text, originally written in 1969, has been brought into actuality and reframed – first through the process of translation, central to the artist’s practice, then through its movement: away from a fixed visual form into sound, rendering it more abstract and more accessible at the same time.
The radioplay will be heard in its entirety on Friday after which it will be broadcasted on several radio stations as well as on its own website. The script is set to be published later this year.
Marin Sorescu (1936 – 1996), one of Romania’s most admired writers, was active as a poet, playwright and essayist. According to Michael Hamburger, who translated his poetry into English, the subversive wit and the allegoric nature of Sorescu’s avant-garde work meant it could also speak to an English audience, without any experience of the socio-political pressures that the author was responding to.
Diana Duta (b.1985) has obtained an MFA from Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, and an MA in Sociocultural Linguistics from Goldsmiths University, London. She is currently based in London where she is active as an artist, interpreter, and translator.
Original play : Marin Sorescu
Translation : Diana Duta
Voice : Ryan Swindlehurst
Sound recording and music design: Vicky Steiri
A project by Diana Duta
A reception sponsored by Deli Twist will follow the event