Tamási Áron Theatre / Sfântu Gheorghe / RO


The 10 years old Janka is the play’s central character, and we get to know her through her relationships with her dog, her family, her classmates, and her friends. Along the scenes, the histories of three families take shape, all broken in one way or another: divorce, illness, abandoned children, parents with wrong expectations. In the drama’s foreword, writer and critic Andrea Tompa writes this about its plot: „every situation on stage is dominated by a classic case of a narcissistic mother; she lacks empathy, attention, interest in others. She’s pushy, infinitely selfish, and at the same time, suspicious, permanently defensive, despite imagining that she’s never guilty of anything. In the end, this absence of empathy makes her cruel. In the first scene, she’s late from a PT meeting, holds up the teacher, states that she must be ashamed instead of her husband who didn’t come. What could the husband be like in these conditions? A classic „emotionally absent” father. He’s there, just not emotionally, not with his attention or interest. The two have a ten years old daughter, who obviously doesn’t get much attention. She draws well, but only in black… It’s the play’s virtue that it is able to show both the surface and the depths at the same time in sharp, playful scenes, and strong situations.”

In his manner, well known to Sf. Gheorghe’s public, director Radu Afrim’s work is full of humour and playfulness, vividly demonstrating that children’s imagination colours the days of their sad reality. Some of the actors play multiple roles, appearing as both children and adults in the story, or playing the characters in the scenes born in the kids’ imaginations.

The Tamási Áron Theatre’s production is not simply about family histories burdened by evil parents, abuse, beatings but more about lonely, lost children and grown-ups searching for the possibility of a better life. Instead of great dramatic scenes, and universal truths, we get to see ordinary situations, ordinary people, just like us struggling day by day. It’s like watching our own families, looking for happiness as sunflowers look for sunshine.



Radu Afrim (b. 1968) is one of the most talented and sophisticated European theatre directors, but also one of the most controversial Romanian directors. After University degree in Letters (1995) and Theatre (2000) at the University Babeș-Bolyai in Cluj, he began directing and his work was awarded, two years running, the Grand Prix du Festival Grange de Dorigny in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was named Best Director for three times, by UNITER, the Romanian theatre guild, for Tranquility after Attila Bartis (“Tompa Miklós” Company, National Theatre Targu-Mures, 2015), for Katalin Thuróczy’s Joi.megaJoy at Odeon Theatre in Bucharest (2007) and for Vasili Sigariov’s Plasticine at “Toma Caragiu” Theatre Ploieşti (2006). In 2008, Radu Afrim also won the “Coup de Coeur de la Presse” (prize discerned by the Press) at the “Off” Avignon Festival, for his play Mansarde à Paris. Les détours de Cioran by Matei Visniec.

A great defender of contemporary writing, loved by the young audience for his colourful, original, nonconformist and provocative revisionist style shaking dramatic traditions, Radu Afrim is the one who managed to bring “the Underground” at the National Theatre of Bucharest. After he successfully staged here The Avalanche by Tuncer Cücenoğlu, Scourge by Ion Luca Caragiale and Thieves by Dea Loher, Afrim returned in 2015 on this stage with No Matter How Hard We Tried by Dorota Masłowska – a performance acclaimed by the auditorium and also by the theatre critics (At the UNITER Gala Awards 2015, the actor Marius Manole was awarded the prize for Best Actor in a Supporting Part and the actress Dorina Chiriac was nominated for Best Actress in a LeadingPart).

Radu Afrim was for 3 years director of the Young Actor’s Gala (Gala HOP) between 2013–2015. His name is also linked to the following remarkable performances: A Chance-Child is Telling a Story in Front of a Blue Background, a contemporary play based on Molnár Ferenc’s; The Glass Slipper, The Retro Bird Hits the Building and Falls on the Hot Asphalt by Radu Afrim, Tales of Common Insanity by Petr Zelenka, No Mom`s Land, Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta by Aglaja Veteranyi, It’s Only the End of the World by Jean-Luc Lagarce, The Beach byPeter Asmussen, The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, Blind spot by Yannis Mavritsakis etc.



The Sfântu Gheorghe theatre as a permanent cultural establishment was founded in 1948. Due to cultural-political events, its name was changed several times during the first few decades of its existence, then in 1992, it took Áron Tamási’s name. Today it still functions as the Tamási Áron Theatre, and is funded by the Council of Sfântu Gheorghe County Town.

The struggles of the first 50 years went in several directions: establishing the institution’s artistic reputation, forming a team out of the actors hired by the theatre and coming from various levels of training-, and acting styles, taking up the cause of the Hungarian minority, bringing up a core audience that justifies the existence and further funding of the institution.

In 1995, the theatre hired László Bocsárdi and some of the actors from his exprimental theatrical laboratory in Gheorgheni; this brought a radical change in approach. Since then, the company’s main goal is to represent the values of contemporary theatre, and this made the now 75 years old Tamási Áron Theatre into one of the most significant and reputable institutions of the Hungarian and Romanian theatrical profession.




Mother – Pál Ferenczi Gyöngyi

Teacher – Gajzágó Zsuzsa

Janitor, Hairdresser, Clerk at the thrift shop – Szakács László

Father – Erdei Gábor


Janka – Varsányi Szabolcs

Erik – Kónya-Ütő Bence

Dzsenifer – Korodi Janka

Klari – Benedek Ágnes

Woman in the mental ward, Bodza, Parent, Kid – Vass Zsuzsanna

Little Cintula, Homeless, Doctor, Parent – Pignitzky Gellért

Little Bélu, Waiter, Policeman, Parent – Nagy-Kopeczky Kristóf

Parent, Child – Csomós Tünde Tímea, Gazda Szende

Parent – Kovács Ibolya, Bartalis Szabolcs


Directed by: Radu Afrim


Director’s assistant: Dálnoky Réka

Set and costume designer: Irina Chirilă

Coreography: Flavia Giurgiu

Music: Kónya-Ütő Bence


Stage Manager: Csomós Tünde Tímea

Prompter: Gazda Szende



Duration of performance: 2 hours 45 minutes (with one intermission)

Premiere: 14th May, 2023.