Events News Press
03 July, 2023

New Romanian theatre production inspired by James Joyce shows a different side to the migrant story

  • Create.Act.Enjoy present IN BETWEEN HOMES in historic found space in Cluj-Napoca from 7-16 July 2023
  • Produced as part of three-year ULYSSES European Odyssey programme

A new theatre production opens this week in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, which offers a counterpoint to the stereotyping of migrants in Europe, an issue that Romanians in particular face.

The Romanian theatre company Create.Act.Enjoy have taken Sirens, the eleventh episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses, as the starting point for IN BETWEEN HOMES, an immersive promenade performance that looks at the impact of migration, not just on those that leave their home country, but those who are left behind – families and loved ones, communities and wider society.

Create.Act.Enjoy have collaborated with the Lucian Blaga National Theatre and the Babes-Bolyai University Faculty of Theatre and Film in Cluj-Napoca to explore how transnational families discover new patterns of co-presence and ways to maintain a sense of safety, support, and intimacy, despite living in multiple worlds. Empathy becomes vital in such separations, which are familiar to many Romanians.

Presented as part of the 18 city, 16 country ULYSSES European Odyssey programme, IN BETWEEN HOMES is a labyrinthine theatrical experience, which invites reflection on how we manage and negotiate relationships with others and ourselves, the distances and obstacles we encounter, and how we relate to promises, hopes and the possibility of a better world.

IN BETWEEN HOMES is a timely reminder that behind the sensational headlines are the lives of individuals, families and communities, who carry hopes and dreams. If Joyce’s Sirens is about the song that draws those hearing it, this important new production is about the things that make people become migrants, what pulls them away from home and how they and those they leave behind navigate what separated them.

IN BETWEEN HOMES is also breaking new ground for Romanian theatre, where immersive productions are relatively new. It is being presented in the historic Fabrica Clujana, a former shoe factory and iconic landmark for Romanians that has been closed to the public for years.

The 1,500 square metre building has been made available to the team of over 40 artists and cultural workers through a partnership with Clujana and Cluj County Council and is being reimagined as an immersive journey, with nine performance, exhibition and interactive spaces in which each audience member navigates, observes and reflects upon the migration of Romanians and its effects on those left behind in the country. The production features a mix of live and pre-recorded voices and other sounds.

Andreea Iacob, director of IN BETWEEN HOMES, says: “Our performance revisits Sirens in Joyce’s Ulysses to look at Romanian migration abroad and, more specifically, the effects of these departures on families. The promise of a better life in the West can be seen as the song of the sirens, as recent studies on transnational families emphasise that the overarching motive that unites the aspirations of those leaving Romania is the need for better living conditions.

“The spectator, referred to as a participant, is invited to enter the performance and have a much more direct relationship with it. Unlike a traditional theatre production, there is no longer a separation between the stage and the audience, and there is no singular space where the dramatic action unfolds. In essence, we are talking about a series of spaces that the spectator enters as if stepping into a series of artistic installations, where the stories gain meaning together, forming a kind of theatrical collage. Each space has its theme, atmosphere, set design, dramaturgy, and actors. There will be spaces where the experience has a specific duration of time, but also areas where spectators can stay for as long as they wish.”

IN BETWEEN HOMES is part of ULYSSES European Odyssey, the three-year cultural programme inspired by James Joyce’s landmark novel Ulysses, which is funded through an award from the European Commission’s Creative Europe Fund and runs until June 2024. 18 cities in 16 countries have each responded to one of the episodes in the novel: Athens, Berlin, Budapest, Cluj, Copenhagen, Derry/Donegal, Dublin, Eleusis, Istanbul, Leeuwarden, Lisbon, Lugo, Marseille, Oulu, Paris, Trieste, Vilnius and Zurich.

IN BETWEEN HOMES runs from 7-16 July, with timed entry every 15 minutes between 6pm and 7:15pm. It is free to attend, but tickets must be booked in advance. For more details visit the Create.Act.Enjoy website: www.createactenjoy.com.

For further press information, please contact [email protected]or 0755 808 863

For more information about the wider ULYSSES European Odyssey programme, please visit https://ulysseseurope.eu.

For further information, please contact [email protected] or call 07716 778 850.



Collective Text for the Performance:

Scenario, Concept, and Direction: Andreea Iacob

Assistant Director: Varga Hunor-József

Assistant Director (Second): Mihai Gligan

Set Design: Gábor Zsófia

Music Composition: József Iszlai

Video Creation: Ioana Ofelia, Octavian Șaramet

Video Mapping: Diana Drăgan-Chirilă

Video Mapping Assistant: Veres Mihály

Graphic Design: Cristian Luchian

Latex Statue Making: Tudor Lucanu

Technical Direction: Florin Suciu

Migration Consultancy: Viorela Telegdi-Csetri

Migration Documentation: Ioana Toloargă

PR and Volunteer Coordination: Raluca Bugnar, Teodora Minea

Artistic Coordination: Diana Buluga

Project Coordination: Diana Moga

With: Diana Buluga, Maialgesa Dat, Călin Deneș, Sorana Eșanu, József Iszlai, Raluca Lupan, Ana Maria Marin, Octavian Mic, Victor Muntean, Emőke Pál, Marcel Paramici, Ionela Pop, Ioana-Maria Repciuc, Clara Roman, Oana Rotaru, Salomeea Rusu, George Sfetcu

Video Appearances: Andrei Bar, Dominic Big, Amalia Susana Bîrză Lupaș, Anuța Lăpuște, Lia-Lucia Retianu, Cornelia Mureșan

Producer: Create.Act.Enjoy Association

Co-producers: National Theatre “Lucian Blaga” Cluj-Napoca, Theatre and Film Faculty Cluj-Napoca

Funded by: European Union (Creative Europe), National Cultural Fund Administration (AFCN), Cluj County Council. Project realised with the support of Cluj-Napoca City Hall and the Local Council.

Sponsors: AMIQ, Forum Apulum, Nano Clean

Main Partner: CLUJANA

Partners: Center for the Study of Transnational Families, Faculty of Letters Cluj-Napoca, Day Center for Seniors No. 1 Cluj, Cluj-Napoca University of Art and Design

Acknowledgements: Raimonda Boian, Miki Braniște, Dorin Budușan, Gabriel Bădescu, Călin Oancea, Adrian Cucu, Cristi Muntean, Mihai Măniuțiu, Mircea Nicolau, Simona Popescu, Ionela Cucu, Sebastian Șuteu, Matei Rotaru, Adela Duca, Dan Duca, Mihaela Marcovici, and all friends and volunteers without whom we could not have accomplished this!


Official Facebook page: fb.com/Create.Act.Enjoy  

Facebook events:

IN BETWEEN HOMES – premieră (sold out)

IN BETWEEN HOMES / spectacol de teatru imersiv de tip promenadă – 9, 13, 14, 15, 16 iulie

Instagram: @createactenjoy

Official website: www.createactenjoy.com 

For further information: [email protected] or 0755 808 863

ULYSSES European Partners: 

Arena Ensemble (PT)
Blaagaard Teater (DK)
Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Theatre and Film (RO)
Brave New World Producties (NL)
Budapest Brand nZrt (HU)
Commune di Trieste (IT)
Create.Act.Enjoy (RO)
Critical+Xwhy Agency (LT)
Fundación Uxío Novoneyra (ES)
gethan&myles and Collectif ildi ! eldi (FR)
Lumo Light Festival (FI)
Museo Joyce Trieste (IT)
Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI (IE)
Noorderlicht (NL)
Rimini Protokoll (DE)
Teatrul National Lucian Blaga din Cluj-Napoca (RO)
Vilnius City Museum (LT)
Yalan Dünya Films Ltd. (TR)

Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland

Provinsje Fryslân