January 27, 2023

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The IERBAR show: a museum of memories – News from Mures, News Targu mures

The absolute premiere of the theater show Herbarium, directed by Radu Afrim, took place on September 10 at the Great Hall of the Târgu-Mureş National Theater – “Liviu Rebreanu” Company, officially opening the 61st season of the Romanian section. The show marks the return to the Romanian company of the Târgu-Mureș National Theatre, after more than 20 years, of Radu Afrim, unanimously considered by critics and the general public to be one of the most important theater people after the Revolution.

For almost two and a half hours, a game of magic took place on the stage of the Great Hall. Herbarium“a multisensory theatrical experience, with poetry itself as its source of inspiration”, opened its soul to the general public.

The stage adaptation of the poem, as a source of inspiration, enjoys a new perspective, a special sensitivity, characteristic of the director Radu Afrim who emphasizes the sad but true side of the ephemeral. The show follows the inexorable passage of time over a young, middle-aged and elderly couple who share the magic of the greenhouse. The language and gestures adopted are strongly anchored in contemporaneity: the traces that the pandemic left on the elderly couple were described in detail, the presence of some expressions in English demonstrates the strong character of the present in the show: “Only for you a special gift” , “Forget it! Forget it”, “Sunnymoon” (being the very virtual name of a character who depicts the paradox so present nowadays).

The actors got into the skin of the characters so completely that you could not imagine that you are not witnessing a real scene of a spring morning or afternoon, in front of the block where you grew up. The actress Katalin Berekméri, playing the role of “aunt Róza néni”, a nice old woman of Hungarian ethnicity, conveyed – in an excellent compositional role – the pleasant feeling that the character has always been known to us, that she is familiar and close to our souls, although I just got to know him. Also, the actor Alex Stoicescu, in the role of Mureşan Darius, was so funny and emotional at the same time, that he transformed a character that could become mediocre into a remarkable one. The expressiveness and novel way of communicating through energy and dual, sly words with modern apropos were flawless, eliciting the most applause at the end.

Spectators were absorbed by the performance that alternately provoked laughter, chuckles, subtle smiles, emotions and produced a consistent inner peace. Time passed by unnoticed, and the final moment of the show surprised us, making us wish that the stage story would continue, to live a while longer in the candid universe around the enchanted greenhouse patronized by the effervescent and temperamental Viorel (Nicu Mihoc) .

An atypical element of the atmosphere of peace and tranquility that took place up to that moment was when the gardener’s helper, Piticu (Luchian Pantea) made his appearance unexpectedly after a wandering absence (according to others). He magically absorbs the interest of the young spirits that surround him with a song whose lyrics are ritualistically repeated, issuing a subtle invitation to a minimalist dance. This moment was born as a portal from the world of fond memories and nostalgia to the reality that slams you squarely in the face without asking you if you are ready to face it with all its vicissitudes.

As for the ending, I want you to abandon your stories and the interval of happiness composed of small things. You will thus become prisoners of the emotions that cover your soul with the naturalness specific to plants that are exhibited as in a museum on the yellowed leaves of a herbarium of memories.


The script was written by Radu Afrim and is inspired by the book of poetry “The Book of Plants and Animals” by Simona Popescu.

The cast includes actors Nicu MIHOC – Viorel (Stalker), BEREKMÉRI Katalin – Róza, Elena PUREA – Ea, Theo MARTON – El, Alex STOICESCU – Darius, Laura MIHALACHE – Staminia, Cristina HOLTZLI – Rebeca, Luchian PANTEA – Piticu, Ale ȘIFREA – Dia, Georgiana GHERGU – Sister 2, Loredana DASCĂLU – Sister 1, Mela MIHAI – Professor and Radu ANASTAS – Cameraman.

The artistic direction, filming and sound universe belong to Radu Afrim, the scenography was designed by Irina Moscu, the stage dramaturgy was made by Andreea Radu, the video design belongs to Trucza Samu, the light design was made by Cristian Niculescu, the assistant director was Dragoş Stoenescu, the scenography assistant was Sikó Dorottya, and the technical direction is ensured by Teodora Crăciun.

by Mihaela Bianca PASCA

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