June 28/29    

Radu Stanca National Theatre (Sibiu, Romania)

Jonathan Swift. "GULLIVER’S TRAVELS"  

Director: Silviu Purcarete




The history of the theatre in Sibiu began in 1788, when Martin Hochmeister raised an edifice meant to host performances by transforming the Thick Tower part of the defense belt of the city into a theatre hall. Plays by Shakespeare and Moliere, plays belonging to the Enlightenment and the German romantics began to be performed here. Theatre hall was devastated by two fires; the first fire was in 1887 and the second fire in 1949 forced the local authorities to move the headquarters of the theatre in the building of the former Apollo cinema, where it still functions today. The first theatre season was opened with the performance “A lost letter” by I.L. Caragiale, staged by Radu Stanca. A complex personality, Radu Stanca, a convinced Germanophile who wrote directly in German and translated numerous works, left his imprint both over the theatrical and cultural life of Sibiu, so the local authorities decided to name the theatre after Radu Stanca.

Since 2000, Radu Stanca National Theatre started to participate in international collaborations. Along the years, Radu Stanca National Theatre made several tours in Japan, Korea, Russia, USA, Columbia, Canada and Europe, and took part in national and international theatre festivals. In August 2009, the theatre had a great success at the Edinburgh International Festival where it performed five times a sold-out "Faust", after Goethe, directed by Silviu Purcarete. The actress Ofelia Popii was awarded The Herald Angel Award, for the best actress. This amazing experience followed in the year 2012, when the National Theatre Radu Stanca from Sibiu was present again at the Edinburgh International Festival with the performance "Gulliver’s Travels", directed by the same Silviu Purcarete, who received for "Gulliver’s Travels" the Herald Angel Award for best performance.

20 of the most important theatre critics have recognized Radu Stanca National Theatre as the best theatre in the country. Radu Stanca National Theatre is a repertory theatre that has a troupe of 50 actors who have a permanent employment contract.

The Sibiu International Theatre Festival based on Radu Stanca National Theatre - is the most important annual festival of performing arts in Romania, "the third most important performing arts festival", after the already famous festivals from Edinburgh and Avignon. The General Manager of the theatre and the coordinator of the festival - Constantin Chiriac.




Nowadays SILVIU PURCARETE is one of the best known Romanian directors, a member with a personal title of the European Theatres Union. In 1974 Purcarete graduated from the Institute of Theatrical and Cinematographic Art in Bucharest. He worked for the most important theatres in Romania (Craiova, Bucharest, Constanta, Sibiu), as well as for theatres in Great Britain, (Royal Shakespeare Company, Nottingham Playhouse), Austria (Burgtheater), France (Theatre De L'union-Limoges), Luxembourg, Norway (National Theatre of Bergen, Det Norske Teatret-Oslo), Portugal (Teatro Nacional - San Joao) and Hungary (Katona Joszef Theater). He was a General Manager of the Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest and for 7 years of the Centre Dramatique National de la Limoges.



His performances travelled on the most important scenes at the greatest festivals from all over the world: Edinburgh, Avignon, Tokyo, Melbourne, Montreal, Glasgow, Bath, Varna, Gdansk and etc. Because of his exceptional artistic features he was rewarded with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres order in France, while in Romania he received the Star of Romania Order Medal. In 2012 he debuted as a film maker with "Somewhere in Palilula".




"Make no mistake, this show is not child’s play. Purcarete destroys any notion that Swift’s work is a charming, childish fantasy. <…> Purcarete brings Swift’s satire into the XXI century. Rather appropriately – given that Swift left his money of an insane asylum – he demonstrates that we are living in a madhouse. And even a child could understand that". Lyn Gardner, "The Guardian".


"Yet this visually ravishing affair, underscored by Shaun Davey’s tremendous organ music, bathes its tightly drilled, circus-like parade of wondrous-odd incidents in a glow of intellectual coherence". Dominic Cavendish, "The Daily Telegraph".