Sit back and enjoy: Interferences theater festival starts

With all the hardships this year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see the positive side of things. Although in this case, there is definitely one: This year, you can enjoy the best theatre performances online at the 7th edition of the Interferences International Theater Festival organized by the Hungarian Theatre of Kolozsvár/Cluj.

All plays will be accessible for free, and viewers will be able to watch them from the “first row” comfort of their homes, something that would have been hard to accomplish pre-coronavirus times at one of the most prestigious and popular international theatre festivals of the region: Interferences.

A total of 34 performances will be available for viewing during the festival, between November 19 and 29, grouped into three sections.

The Horizons section includes recordings of performances that would have been presented at the live, in-person version of this year’s festival, including productions by Silviu Purcărete, József Nagy, András Urbán, Michal Dočekal, Gábor Tompa, Nuno Cardoso and Boris Yukhananov.

The European Theatre Union (UTE) is celebrating its 30th anniversary. For this reason, the UTE30 section includes 11 outstanding performances of the past and present member theaters of the European Theatre Union including productions by Giorgio Strehler, Krystian Lupa, Lev Dogyin, Declan Donellan, Gábor Tompa, Alexandru Darie and Gábor Székely.

In the OFF section of the festival, young and independent creators have been included, such as Leta Popescu and Cătălin Bocîrnea.

In this year’s program, there will also be four opera performances, and the festival will close with a live performance from the great hall of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj by the Loose Neckties Society, a band formed by the actors of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj and their friends.

The performances of the Horizons and UTE30 sections will be viewable on the webpage of the Interferences festival, www.interferences-huntheater.ro, while the OFF program will be shown on the Facebook page of the festival: www.facebook.com/Interferences.Festival.

The performances will be free to watch and will be shown with Hungarian, Romanian and English subtitles. The detailed program of the festival is up and running at www.interferences-huntheater.ro.

Theatre at the End of the Tunnel

“Under normal circumstances, this year’s festival entitled Horizons would focus on the social, cultural and economic perspectives of the world in the middle of the 21st century, since almost as many years have passed since the turn of the century as there were between the fall of communism and the Millennium. At the same time, what also took place a hundred years ago was the traumatic redrawing of the map of Europe, with numerous consequences, including World War II, the ensuing Cold War, and the division of the continent into two blocks: the communist countries and the capitalist system then called the ‘Free World.’

At the same time, we would be curious to find out the direction in which theater is heading, what the new trends are, how do these relate to tradition, how do they rewrite Europe’s cultural heritage, if they are connected to it at all,” said director Gábor Tompa.

Several worrying events are taking place in parallel with the schedule dictated by the coronavirus. “Various instances of social and political unrest, demonstrations, activist movements of a destructive nature, the pulling down of statues, the so-called ‘cancel culture,’ which seeks to completely rewrite history and pull the veil of oblivion over centuries of cultural memory, creating a type of anarchy and chaos in which humanity completely loses its direction and is, in fact, getting lost in the confusing maze of these ideologically driven discourses or monologues.

In light of the above, our festival’s theme — Horizons — has been redefined: We are looking for answers as to if we can continue our daily lives in some way, either in the already established manner or in a radically different way in regard to the further development of culture, the renewal of theatre, what message theater will convey, and if is there light at the end of the tunnel at all? It seems that all those who are eagerly waiting to present their works and meet the Cluj and Transylvanian audiences, as well as the guests [waiting to watch], are all trying to express the fact that while we are currently experiencing struggles and we are going through difficult times, the theater is, in fact, there at the end of the tunnel. That is why at this festival, we would like to convey words of encouragement and strength to both those working in theater and to those in the audience,” stated Gábor Tompa, Festival Director, Artistic and Managing Director of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, and President of the European Theatre Union.

Featured photo: photo credits Andrey Bezukladnikov


Author: Blanka Székely