The Space is the Message. A View of Romanian Theatre Today, by Octavian Saiu

The Space is the Message. A View of Romanian Theatre Today, by Octavian Saiu

Hosted by Dr Mike Phillips OBE, British novelist, historian and curator.

Followed by Q&A session and the launch of the book ‘In Search of Lost Space’ by Octavian Saiu (UNATC Press, Bucharest 2010)

What is the state of Romanian theatre today? Theatre critic Octavian Saiu will try to answer this question by talking about the way in which space is used by some of the best Romanian theatre directors of the moment.

Monday 15 November 2010, 19.00-21.00, The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre, Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ; Tel. 020 7486 0295, ext 108; e-mail:; Entry is free but booking is essential.

“As an art always in search of its own identity, theatre reflects itself in the space in which it comes into being. At the point of major re-evaluations – of traditions, of innovations, and, equally important, of failures of the world’s stage – the problematic of space becomes a fundamental criterion. The new space of the global age has radical consequences for the visual culture of contemporary spectacle or for the selection of the repertoire. In the Romanian context, through stage directors such as Silviu Purcarete, Victor Ioan Frunza, or the younger and more rebellious Radu Afrim, and, in a broader international context, through directors like Robert Wilson or Robert Lepage, the mutations in the theatrical mentality become – in an organic and apparently irreversible manner – challenges of the theatrical space. For these director-creators, the necessity to renew the space has become a leading aesthetic principle.

Focusing on some of the major works of Purcarete, Frunza and Afrim, this presentation will explore the paradigm of space in contemporary Romanian theatre. It will show that, through their respective spatial universes, these artists project a sense of universality that transcends all the boundaries of the local. Indeed, in their productions, the space is the message.” (Octavian Saiu)

Octavian Saiu has taught theatre and dramatic literature as Associate Professor at the National University of Theatre and Cinematography (NUTC) in Bucharest and as Guest Lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand. In 2008-2009, he was Visiting Fellow at the University of London. He holds a PhD in Theatre Studies (NUTC) and one in Comparative Literature (Otago). He has been actively involved in several worldwide theatre events and academic conferences in Romania, Israel, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland, etc. For three years, he was a presenter for Romanian National Television, coordinating TV shows about theatre, cinema and visual arts. A former co-editor of ‘Theatre Nowadays’ magazine, he is a founding editor of ‘Romanian Studies in Theatre Theory’. He is currently the Vice-President of the Romanian Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC). He has published three theatre books, one of which received the Critics’ Award in 2010.

Culture Power is a programme initiated by the Ratiu Foundation, consisting of a number of presentations and constructive dialogue with an invited audience.

Organised by The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre in London.

With the support of ProFusion International Creative Consultancy.

Region: All
Start Date: 15/11/2010
End Date:
Start Time: 19:00
Venue: Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre
Venue Address: Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street
Press Tickets: Not Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: Ramona Mitrica
Phone: 020 7486 0295