Prince Charles visited, on Friday, around lunch, the Bucharest National Theatre (TNB), where he was greeted by director of the theatre, Ion Caramitru, and by the director of the British Council, Nigel Bellingham.
His Royal Highness took to the stages of the theatre, saw how the stage scenery is built in the carpentry workshop, and participated in a special show put on for his visit, that included moments from the plays put on by actors Ion Caramitru, Dan Puric, the actors of the "ArtOrchestra" and moments of folk music.
The Prince of Wales met, on this occasion, Ilinca Tomoroveanu - the artistic director of the theatre and Romeo Belea - the architect of the project to preserve the National Theatre. Since entering, Ion Caramitru informed the Prince of Wales that the "patron" of the Bucharest National Theatre is the great Romanian playwright Ion Luca Caragiale. His Royal Highness and all those who accompanied on his visit went up also to the cafe at the top of the building, where Romeo Belea spoke of the project to consolidate the theatre, which was completed four years ago.
Later on, the Big Hall of the Bucharest National Theatre was visited. It was here that the Prince of Wales took to the stage, together with Ion Caramitru. The director of the theatre then made an acoustics demonstration of the hall, interpreting a short fragment in English, then showed the Prince of Wales an image from a TNB presentation catalogue with the hall during communist times. "I remember", said, in context, the Prince of Wales.
"It's one of the largest stages in Europe. It's the size of a football field", Caramitru emphasized. In the deafening sound of machinery, His Royal Highness had brief conversations with the workers of the carpentry workshop of the Bucharest National Theatre, being curious of the processes they go through. After this moment, the Prince of Wales went through the wonderful scenery of the 'Media Hall' of the Theatre, reaching the "Studio Hall", where he was awaited by 100 persons - youths that study English at the British Council, pupils of Romanian schools that have partnerships with the British Council and staff of the National Theatre and the British Council.
In the "Studio Hall", presented as unique in Europe by the Director of the Bucharest National Theatre, the Prince of Wales witnessed a special show put on for his visit by Ilinca Tomoroveanu. The show, which lasted over 30 minutes, was opened by the actors that play in the "ActOrchestra", defined as a "show with laughter included". A folk ensemble, together with two violinists, set the tone of the show, which continued with a fragment of Shakespeare's opera interpreted by Ion Caramitru in English. The show concluded with the famous Romanian folk dance dubbed the "Calusul" - the horse-tamer.
The actors of the "ActOrchestra" conducted another moment that brought the spectators to the world of the circus through the costumes and props used, as well as the 'instruments' - horns used on old cars. Towards the end of the representation, they threw giant balloons towards the public, the Prince of Wales playing along and touching one of the balloons. The show ended with the music of the folk ensemble, and after this moment, the Prince of Wales watched a video clip that showed the transformation of the Studio Hall. He recognized some of the actors, among them Anca Sigartau and Dan Puric, declaring himself impressed by their performance, but also some persons of the staff of the British Council.
At the end of the visit to the Bucharest National Theatre, the Prince of Wales received a gift from the institution and saluted the three actors of the "ActOrchestra". "Our gift, made by a colleague, which works in the scenery department, is a representation of a folk orchestra, made of papier-mâché, which is the base material for scenery, so wet paper sculpted by hand", Ion Caramitru told the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales will conclude on Friday his three-day visit to Romania.