The Scarlet Princess

script by Silviu Purcărete, inspired from Sakura Hime Azuma Bunshô, by Tsuruya Namboku IV
Directed by: Silviu Purcărete
Translation: Eugen Gyemant
Original Music: Vasile Şirli
Scenography: Dragoş Buhagiar
Assistant director: Eugen Gyemant, Sanda Anastasof
Assistant scenographer: Iuliana Gherghescu
Face designer: Minela Popa
Music preparation: Vlad Robaș
Make-up: Elena Vlad, Corina Predescu, Bogdan Dobre
Project manager: Claudia Maior
Marketing coordinator: Eliza Ceprăzaru
Cast: Ofelia Popii, Iustinian Turcu, Dana Taloş, Adrian Matioc, Diana Văcaru-Lazăr, Cristian Stanca, Diana Fufezan, Raluca Iani, Mariana Mihu – Plier, Adrian Neacşu, Pali Vecsei, Vlad Robaș, Emőke Boldizsár, Cristina Stoleriu, Alexandru Malaicu, Codruţa Vasiu, Serenela Mureşan, Johanna Adam, Cristina Ragos, Cendana Trifan, Antonia Dobocan, Veronica Arizancu, Arina Ioana Trif, Fabiola Petri, Gabriela Pîrlițeanu, Monica Vîlcu, Ioana Cosma, Cristina Blaga-Tomuș, Oana Brânzan, Eduard Pătrașcu, Mihai Coman, Viorel Rață, Liviu Vlad, Cătălin Neghină, Ștefan Tunsoiu, Andrei Gîlcescu, Horia Fedorca

Strobe lighting effects used during this performance can cause seizures in persons who may suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.
“The Scarlet Princess” is based on an original script by Silviu Purcărete, which is built on Tsuruya Namboku the fourth’s kabuki play.
Kabuki is one of the most important styles of Japanese theatre, characterized by visual elegance and a complex set of conventions.
The origin of Kabuki theatre stems from sensual and comical scenes interpreted by priestess Okuni and her group of actresses. Okuni adapted the ritual performance style which used to be practiced in temples into scripts tackling secular, often lewd topics.
The plays’ success was mainly due to the erotic scenes, which often led to spectators brawling over actresses, who also engaged in prostitution. Because of this, women were prohibited to play in kabuki shows, and were replaced by young men. Twenty years later, when it was discovered that the young men did the same, they were also excluded. Therefore, all the roles in kabuki shows were played by mature men. Inspired by this theatre tradition, Silviu Purcărete aims at creating a European performance, following the Kabuki text, rules and space, but reinterpreted in his personal manner.
Over time, the story of Princess Sakura (cherry blossom) has undergone many transformations, from the original version, dating from 1817, to the most well-known variant, the one played by the Tokyo National Theatre in 1967.
In the last 25 years of his life, Tsuruya Namboku IV wrote more than 100 plays, and the story of Princess Sakura is one of the most important.
The author was famous for bringing popular 17th century kabuki plays back to the public’s attention, as well as for innovating the kabuki tradition.
Princess Sakura is the heroine of numerous kabuki and bunraku plays, but Namboku is the first to bring her to the limelight.
The story begins when Seigen, the abbot of a temple, falls in love with his young disciple, Shiragiku. Condemned to a life of impossible love, the abbot and his disciple decide to commit suicide. The young man dies, but the abbot survives. Seventeen years later, when Princess Sakura comes to the temple to become a nun, Seigen recognizes her as the feminine reincarnation of Shiragiku and falls in love again.
“The Scarlet Princess” abounds in tales about obsessive love, murders, reincarnations and revenge. The performance takes on these themes and, with humour and self-irony, creates an effervescent commentary of the dialogue between European and Japanese culture.
“The Scarlet Princess” includes plenty of stories of obsessive love, murders, reincarnation and revenge. The performance approaches these themes with humour and self-irony in order to build a bubbly commentary on the dialogue between European and Japanese culture.
UNITER Prize for best Romanian performance in 2018
UNITER Prize for best actress in a leading role for Ofelia Popii
UNITER Prize for best scenography Dragoș Buhagiar
22-28 October 2018, Sibiu, National Theatre Festival
17, 18, 19 December 2019,Brussels, Belgium, Europalia Festival
Estimated duration:2h 30min
Premiere Date:01-06-2018