Atelier Studio Theatre and the Romanian Cultural Institute proudly present the British premiere of Matei Vişniec’s “What Shall We Do with the Cello”, a funny and sharply relevant play by Romania’s most prolific and celebrated contemporary playwright.
The show is part of the VAULT Festival 2017. Amusing and dark, this surreal comedy goes straight to the heart of intolerance and stupidity and is staged by a mainly Romanian creative crew: director Vasile Nedelcu, actors Simona Armstrong, Mihai Arsene and Tudor Smoleanu, cellist Nick Allen and choreographer Mălina Andrei. The play features the intriguing live music of one of the world’s leading avant garde composers, Iancu Dumitrescu.
Matei Vișniec: “A storm, a waiting room: the man with the newspaper, the woman with the veil, the old man with the stick. In a corner, the man with the cello is playing his instrument, ceaselessly. At first, they listen to him and appreciate him, but very quickly the repetitive and obsessing tune drives them mad. They try, taking turns, to convince him to stop, at least for some minutes, some seconds… But the man with the cello doesn’t want to, he doesn’t reply to them. He is playing, more and more menacing, alone against everybody… The others will have to organise themselves against this unexpected musical aggression…”
“Şi cu violoncelul ce facem?” / “What Shall We Do with the Cello”
By Matei Vişniec
Directed by: Vasile Nedelcu
Simona Armstrong: The Lady with the Veil
Mihai Arsene: The Man with the Stick
Tudor Smoleanu: The Man with the Newspaper
Nick Allen: The Man with the Cello
Choreography by: Mălina Andrei
Performed in English without Romanian surtitles.
Matei Vişniec is a Paris-based Romanian playwright, whose multi-award-winning work has been staged in over 30 countries from Japan to the USA and has been translated into 25 languages. Vişniec, who lived in London as a BBC journalist in the eighties, is perhaps best known in the UK for the acclaimed Young Vic production of “The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War”: ‘you emerge both intellectually informed and emotionally moved’ wrote at the time Michael Billington in The Guardian. “What Shall We Do With The Cello?” is one of many of his great works banned by the Ceauşescu regime in Romania, causing the playwright and poet to seek asylum in Paris in 1987, where he still lives and writes.
Director’s Vasile Nedelcu early production of this play, in Romania, received wide critical acclaim including high praise from the playwright himself. Nedelcu has directed extensively on main stages all over Romania. His work in the UK includes “The Chairs” and “The Lesson”, both by E. Ionesco, at the Camden Fringe in 2011 and Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt” at Glasshouse Festival, Stourbridge in 2005.
London’s Vault Festival 2017, The Cage
The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN
Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 February 2016, 7.15pm
Matinee on Sat 11 Feb, 4.45pm
General admission: £12
2-4-1 offer on Wed 8 Feb
Book your tickets HERE
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