The play written by Luigi Pirandello in 1921 is among the most demanding dramatical classical texts - for directors and actors alike, faced with the complex part of the young man pretending to have gone mad, ultimately losing control of his pretend-madness. The main character is portrayed by Balázs Attila, and the story questions the fragile line between fiction and reality. The uniqueness of this performance is the impressive setdecor designed by Adriana Grand, as well as live music performed by 15 musicians, led by music composer Cári Tibor.
The events in 'King Henry IV' happen 20 years before the action onstage, when a young aristocrat, taken away by his acting talent, suffers and accident during a carnival. He wakes up next day fully convinced that he is Henry IV, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, whose life was marked by a series of conflicts with the Pope, and who is closely linked to the legendary Road to Canossa. Has he really gone mad or is he pretending? If he is mad, why does everyone around him participate in this madness? If this is just a game, how can it be so real? Who can clearly say where does normality end and madness begin?
King Henry IV. continues the collaboration between stage director Victor Ioan Frunză and scenographer Adriana Grand and the Csiky Gergely Hungarian State Theatre, after having createad several impressive performances: Lorenzaccio (1998), The Lesson (2001), How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients (2003), Hamlet (2003, 2004) and, most of all, Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are dead, which has received the Award for Best Performance in Romania in 2009.
Born in 1959, Victor Ioan Frunză is one of the most prominent stage directors in Romania’s theatre, with a PhD in Performing Arts from the Bucharest Theatre and Film University, working also as a theatre professor.
He has collaborated with theatre institutions in Hungary, Germany and Czech Republic and is very familiar with the Hungarian-speaking stages.
He was manager of the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre (1990–1993) and founded the Romanian department of theatre directing at Targu Mures Theatre Academy.
In the 1990s he ran an independent theatre project, The Company on Barrels, and later founded his own actors’ group, The Nameless Company. He is known to have promoted and influenced many talented young actors in the last 30 years. His interest spans from classical literature to contemporary authors.
His best performances were created for the Braila, Galati, Arad theatres and Timisoara’s Csiky Gergely Hungarian State Theatre. Among his noteworthy creations we can include Hamlet (Budapest), Ghetto (Bucharest), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead (Timisoara), Satyricon (Targu Mures), Angels in America (Bucharest).
He aims to reform the performing space and shape acting teams. While believing that theatre cannot change politics or life, he aims to create emotion and generate humanity in the present-day chaos.
Frunză is the recipient of numerous awards for theatre in Romania and abroad. His most constant collaborator is the set designer Adriana Grand, his wife.