Romanian Cultural Institute: “Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference”, 14th of June

A brilliant depiction of the last years of the great Vivien Leigh starring the revered thespian Lamia Beligan in a career defining one-woman show. The play, “Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference” by Marcy Lafferty, follows the great actress, now a mere shell of the former diva, as she relentlessly tries to explain her life – her amazing career, her all-devouring love for Sir Laurence Olivier and her tragic illness – to an increasingly detached public.

We are pleased to present this performance in our theatrical space in 1 Belgrave Square, only a couple streets away from 54 Eaton Square, where Leigh spent her last, sad and solitary years.https-cdn.evbuc.comimages316896391262828158671original

“And the artists shall inherit the earth, and the world will be a garden.” (Vivien Leigh)

“Vivien Leigh – The Last Press Conference”

By Marcy Lafferty
Translated by: Lamia Beligan
Directed by Liana Ceterchi
With: Lamia Beligan
Set design and costumes: Liana Ceterchi and Lamia Beligan
Produced by: Excelsior Theatre in Bucharest

The show will be performed in Romanian with English surtitles. The performance is presented in London by the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Excelsior Theatre in Bucharest.

Born in Bucharest to one of Romania’s most beloved actors, Radu Beligan, and to writer Marica Beligan, Lamia Beligan trained to become a ballet dancer. Unfortunately, an accident put an end to her dancing career and instead pushed her towards drama, which she studied with professor Ion Cojar. Throughout her career, Lamia has worked in all important theatres in Bucharest and Romania and has won numerous prizes such as the Best Actress for Gwendolline in the musical comedy “Good Evening, Mr Wilde” at Liverpool International Theatre Festival in 1990 and the Best Actress of 1998 offered by the “Iulia Popovici” Foundation. In 2001, Lamia Beligan was awarded the Romanian Order of Cultural Merit.

Liana Ceterchi has directed for the most prestigious theatres in Bucharest, among which Bulandra, Act, and Nottara. In recent years, she has made an active effort to encourage and support Romanian independent theatre and, most notably, to enhance the female presence in the performing arts. She set up the “IF / DACĂ … Women in Theatre Association” through which she has produced a great number of shows starring both famous actresses and young talent. The role of her association has also proved unique in raising fundamental problems such as “autism”, using drama as therapy and performing in women’s prisons throughout Romania.

Please note that the seating is unreserved and that latecomers will not be admitted.



London: Kibo Productions and Romanian Cultural Institute present “Jonah”

Press Release

jonah blu facebook 1

Register here . Running time: 50 minutes. This play will be performed in English

‘There should be a grid at the entrance to every soul. So no one can get inside it with a knife.’ (Marin Sorescu)

By his own admission, Jonah’s unlucky and that’s all there is to it. Unlucky enough that he can only catch fish that’s already been caught. That is, until he himself is caught by a fish. Can he count on God to deliver him to the light, just like in the Biblical myth, or does he need to find his own way?

Based loosely on the story of the prophet swallowed by a whale, Marin Sorescu‘s Jonah (1968) is a lyrical parable about solitude, life, the choices we make and the choices that have been made for us. After being banned by the Communist censorship in the years after it was first published, Jonah has been played extensively in post-Communist Romania, but it only gets its London premiere this month through a collaboration between the Romanian Cultural Institute and Kibo Productions.

Opened in October 2016, the theatrical space in the Romanian Cultural Institute has attracted growing interest with the British public, the demand for seats at previous events far outweighing the venue capacity. Situated in a beautiful historical building in the heart of Belgravia, 2 minutes from Hyde Park, the Institute’s mission is to promote Romanian culture and values to London audiences.

This is the first time collaboration between the Institute and Kibo Productions, an emerging production company passionate about bringing vibrant texts to the masses. Kibo’s previous productions include Tea Set, a one-woman show by popular Irish writer Gina Moxley, that enjoyed two runs in London (Barons Court Theatre, White Bear Theatre) and went to the Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Fringe 2015 with the support of Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan and Hugh Boneville; also, Love, Hate, and Human Rights, a showcase of new plays protesting the persecution of the LGBT community in Russia, with support of LGBT advocates Peter Tatchell and Stephen Fry (2013, Barons Court Theatre).

‘Inspiring, engaging, intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking.’

(Raksha Patel, Vada Magazine on Love, Hate, and Human Rights)

‘A simple story beautifully told.’

(Lyn Gardner, The Guardian on Tea Set)

Director Sharon Willems on Jonah:

‘Sorescu’s language carries you to world unseen, steeped in philosophy and wonder, far beneath the sea. A world that is part nightmare and part fairy tale; Jonah’s desperate struggle to survive his loneliness is at the heart of his poetic journey.’

The cast, creative and production team includes:

Playwright: Marin Sorescu

Translation: Andrea Deletant and Brenda Walker

Director: Sharon Willems

Cast: Alin Balascan

Producers: Raluca Cimpoiasu (RCI) and Leonard Bacica (Kibo);

Original Music by Andrea Biondo

Video Design by Cristian Luchian

Poster Design by Alex Suchea 


Alin Balascan


Alin Balaşcan is a young Romanian actor who, after having studied at East 15 Acting School in London, followed training in Shakespeare’s Works with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. He played Angus in ‘Macbeth’ while at the SG under the direction of the acclaimed Joanne Howarth. He then went on studying Harold Pinter’s works at The Cockpit Theatre where he starred in ‘Night’ and ‘No Man’s Land’. In 2013 he made his West End debut in the spectacular production of ‘In the Beginning Was the End’ at Somerset House, in a double role for which he was mentioned by several publications including The Guardian. He was also part of the first production of Saviana Stănescu’s ‘Aliens with Extraordinary Skills’ in London at Leicester Square Theatre. In 2016, Alin played several roles in Immersive Theatre’s celebratory production of Tristan Tzara’s plays at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London. Currently he is working towards his debut in International Film&TV.

Sharon Willems


Sharon Willems is the artistic director of Kibo Productions and previously directed Kibo’s five-star production of Tea Set by Gina Moxley (The White Bear/Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh) starring Amy Molloy. Prior to this Sharon directed the UK Première of Birthday by Brooklyn-based playwright Crystal Skillman (Waterloo East Theatre/Camden Fringe) and wrote the foreword for the subsequent Samuel French publication. She has curated several new writing events for Kibo Productions and this summer will work with award-winning playwright, Jaki McCarrick (Leopoldville, PapaTango Prize) to develop Tussy, a new work on the life of feminist revolutionary Eleanor Marx. Sharon is also a freelance director and dramaturg and has worked across London on new writing for Little Pieces of Gold, The Off Cut Festival, Papa Tango Theatre Company, and Salt Theatre Company.

Marin Sorescu


Prolific Romanian poet, playwright, novelist and essayist, nonconformist explorer of existential uncertainties and the absurdity of human condition, Marin Sorescu’s ironic voice emerged in Romanian literature in the 1960s. Sorescu’s first book, ‘Singur printre poeţi’ (1964) (‘Alone Among Poets‘), was a collection of poetic parodies and pastiches of conventional lyrical expressions. The work was an immediate success. It was followed by ‘Poeme. Versuri. Parodii’, 1965 (‘Poems. Verses. Parodies‘), ‘Moartea ceasului’, 1966 (‘The Death of the Clock‘), ‘Poeme’, 1967 (‘Poems‘), and ‘Tinerețea lui Don Quijote’, 1968 (‘Don Quijote’s Tender Years‘). His existentialist themes, at the same time universal and subjective, placed his work into the wide context of the avant-garde. With ‘Iona’, 1968 (‘Jonah‘), written at the beginning of Nicolae Ceauşescu’s reign, ‘Paracliserul’, 1970 (‘The Verger‘) and ‘Matca’, 1973 (‘The Matrix‘), all three constructed on the themes of creation and destruction, Sorescu established his reputation as a major modern playwright. The trilogy was published in the UK for the first time in 1985 under the title ‘The Thirst of the Salt Mountain’. Although Sorescu’s dramas drew full houses, they were soon deemed controversial and withdrawn by the censorship. In the 1970s, Sorescu started to write historical dramas in the Brechtian Epic-dramatic style. “For the playwright, history is like a bone to a dog,” Sorescu was writing in the preface to ‘Vlad Dracula, the Impaler‘ (1978). Throughout the1980s his literature was heavily censored. After the 1989 Revolution ‘Censored Poems’ was printed – a collection featuring one of the author’s masterpieces, ‘House Under Surveillance’. In self-mockery Marin Sorescu was saying about his writing: “I can’t give up smoking just because I don’t smoke, and I can’t give up writing just because I have no talent.” Throughout his career Sorescu received several awards, including the Romanian Writers’ Union Prize in 1965, 1968, and 1974, the International Poetry Festival Gold Medal, Naples (1969), the Romanian Academy Prize, first time in 1970 and then several other times, the Poetry Prize of the Academia delle Muze, Florence (1978), the International Fernando Riello Prize, Madrid (1983), the Herder Prize, Austria (1991). In 1983 Sorescu became a corresponding member of the Mallarmé Academy and in 1991 he became a member of the Romanian Academy. Marin Sorescu was Romania’s Nobel Prize nominee in 1996, the year he died of liver cancer at the age of 60.



Mesmerizing duo Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri in the Enescu Concert Series


Hailed by All about Jazz as “one of the most creative new musicians on the New York City scene”, enthusiastically reviewed by major British jazz publications like Jazzwise and Jazz Journal, Romanian ground-breaking composer and pianist Lucian Ban and American Grammy nominee violist & improviser Mat Maneri debut in 1 Belgrave Square with a program inspired by the music of George Enescu as well as Romania’s ancestral soundscape. The concert is presented within our `Enescu Concert Series` and is part of a tour that will also lead the innovative duo to Derby’s Voice Box and London’s Vortex.

Writing about the album “Transylvanian Concert”, which forms the core of the duo’s British tour, The Guardian praised the music’s “own kind of melancholy beauty and wayward exuberance”. The New York Times called it “a lovely and restive new album” while All About Jazz marveled at its “moments of unanticipated beauty”. Village Voice considers “Transylvanian Concert“ as “one of those records that whisk you away” while Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri’ s performances are described by L.A. Weekly as no less than “mesmerizing, evocative and sensually explicit”.

This is the first time when jazz music features in our popular `Enescu Series` but the great composer is as present as ever thanks to Ban and Maneri’ s skillful reinterpretations of some of his great compositions such as “Impression de l’Enfance” Suite, Orchestral Suite no. 1 and Sonata no. 3 “in Romanian folk style”. Another major source of inspiration for the brilliant duo is the ancient “doina”, the Romanian traditional musical genre included in the UNESCO heritage.

The Lucian Ban-Mat Maneri tour is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute and the ECM Records.

Registration here:

Romanian Cultural Institute, London: Theatre – Ashes Afar – a Story of Memory and Loss

unnamedWritten by Andreea Borţun
Directed by Bobi Pricop
With: Crissy O’Donovan & Liviu Romanescu
Performed in English

RCI London, Wednesday 12 April, 7pm

“An intelligent and fraught examination of the possibilities and impossibility of the notion of home” (Mark Bolsover, Edinburgh Spotlight)

Free. Seats allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Please book your seat on Eventbrite

A couple. A suitcase. A game lost. A memory played. When Aine loses her memory, Mihail constructs a form of therapy to help bring her back. But therapy with the one you love can be a very funny game. What happens when the rules change? ‘Ashes Afar’ spikes social politics with bitter humor. Watch the lives of this young immigrant couple unravel in this fractured story about memory, love and the loss of both.

The play is produced by VANNER Collective and TETA Association. The project is co-funded with the support of AFCN Romania, Romanian Cultural Institute and The Oxford School of Drama.




A NEW BEGINNING – 5th Romanian Film Festival in New York

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York presents the 5th Annual Romanian Film Festival in New York City, this year entitled A NEW BEGINNING, to take place from December 3rd-5th at Tribeca Cinemas. Each year, the festival presents the best and most recent films from Romania’s unique and critically exalted national body of contemporary cinema to New York audiences. This year’s edition features new works from filmmakers who were at the forefront of the “Romanian New Wave,” such as Cristi Puiu, Radu Muntean and Răzvan Rădulescu, as well as debut features from Constantin Popescu and Bobby Păunescu. And, the highly-anticipated new work from Andrei Ujică (Videograms of a Revolution), The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, will be presented as the opening night film.

The festival will conclude with the  landmark Romanian film Carnival Scenes by master filmmaker Lucian Pintilie, featuring legendary Romanian stage and screen actor Victor Rebengiuc (Medal of Honor, Tuesday, After Christmas), who is also the honored guest is this year’s festival. The festival also includes a special section entitled Women on the Move, focusing on the representation of Women in post-communist society.

Special events at this year’s festival include a presentation of a special issue of Film Criticism magazine focusing on New Romanian Cinema, and two one-man shows staged in the Tribeca Cinemas lounge bar.

Festival curator Mihai Chirilov states, “New Romanian Cinema was born in 2001 and as of 2005 became the thing on the international film scene. So, 2010 is a natural time for a new beginning. After a 5-year gap since his worldwide breakthrough with The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu, Cristi Puiu is back with his new and anticipated film, Aurora, the very title of which implies a new beginning. Andrei Ujică’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, is closing a chapter of the recent Romanian history, offering a brand new, hotly debated and much-needed perspective on the national anti-hero. Most of the new films’ characters are longing for a new start, be it the unfaithful husband in Tuesday, After Christmas, the guilty father in Medal of Honor, or the women challenged by the contexts of their lives in both Francesca and First of All, Felicia. Challenging the aesthetic of the Romanian New Wave as we know it, with a focus on characters stuck in limbo, this year’s abundant crop of New Romanian Cinema is the perfect mirror of a society at a crossroads desperately looking for a new path to follow.”

Also in attendance at the festival will be actresses Monica Bârlădeanu (Francesca), Mariana Mihuţ (Carnival Scenes), Ozana Oancea (First of All, Felicia, Stuck on Christmas), director/producer Bobby Păunescu (Francesca, Aurora), producer Andrei Creţulescu (Merry Circus, The Shukar Collective Project, The World According to Ion B.), producer/director Tudor Giurgiu, director of Transilvania International Film Festival, Professor Vladimir Tismăneanu, and film critic Alex Leo Şerban.
The Romanian Film Festival in New York City was initiated in 2006, and is a partnership of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York (RCINY) with the Transilvania International Film Festival and Tribeca Cinemas.

The Romanian Film Festival in New York City was initiated in 2006, and is a partnership of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York (RCINY) with the Transilvania International Film Festival and Tribeca Cinemas. Initiated and chaired by Corina S,uteu, director of RCINY, the festival selection committee also includes Mihai Chirilov, curator, and Oana Radu, RCINY deputy director. The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York RCINY aims to promote Romanian culture throughout the U.S. and internationally, and to build sustainable, creative partnerships among American and Romanian cultural organizations. The Institute acts as a catalyst and proponent of initiatives across artistic fields, striving to foster understanding, cultural diplomacy, and scholarly discourse by enriching public perspectives of contemporary Romanian culture. RCINY is currently the president of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network in New York City. For the past five years, RCINY has been an active enabler and supporter of the presentation and promotion of Romanian cinema in the U.S.

All films will be screened in the original language with English subtitles, introduced by Romanian film critics.

More detailes here: