a quirky look at London Life

Ashes Afar Burns Disturbingly @ Romanian Cultural Institute, London

Ashes Afar 1

Ashes Afar
By Andreea Borţun
Romanian Cultural Institute
Wed 12 April 2017

Following critical acclaim at Edinburgh 2015, ASHES AFAR had a Spring 2017 one-off performance at The Romanian Cultural Institute’s new performance space in London’s Belgrave Square. The one act play is a 55 minute exploration into the nature of immigration and how it can affect (in this case) two young lovers. The plot is as bizarre as it is brilliant.

When Aine, an Irish immigrant in London (Crissy O’Donovan) loses her memory, (or is it her mind?) Mihail (Liviu Romanescu) a Romanian immigrant in London, constructs a sinister form of therapy (“GAME”) to help “bring her back.”
So their six year (sex-fuelled) love affair is played out in disjointed, crazy, but finally elliptical episodes.

There are short sequences of hilarious, quite mad, slapstick comedy and others bordering on the sad and finally tragic.

The play is directed by distinguished Romanian director Bobi Pricop

The play is a disturbingly enigmatic work, in which the acting serves the playwright well; Liviu Romanescu is truly engaging in a “trying hard to make sense of it all” role and Crissy O’Donovan would win all the awards going if this play was within a more mainstream context. So,let’s hope the overall work of the VANNER Collective (, a team of theatre makers dedicated to producing and creating new work, gets the wider recognition it deserves.

Congratulations are due to the Romanian Cultural Institute for staging such a ground-breaking production.

Ashes Afar 2


Next at the Institute:

17 and 18 May at 7pm
“Jonah” by Romanian classic Marin Sorescu, produced by Kibo Productions, directed by Sarah Willems and performed by Alin Balascan.

Ashes Afar Press enquiries:
Cristina Catalina on 07717 377 310 or email

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