At the end of last year, the Excelsior Theater in Bucharest became the first theater in Romania to obtain a title registered by Guinness World Records. The title was granted for the largest revolving auditorium in the world, which was especially built for the show "Vlaicu Voda" by Alexandru Davila. The show also involved the building of a natural-size medieval village which recreated, in the smallest of details, the fascinating world of 600 years ago. 9 houses, 8 defense towers, 4 craftsmen's workshops, an inn and a church replicated after the model of Sân Nicoară church in Curtea de Arges, hundreds of costumes and folk masks, scores of musicians (instrumentalists, a choir and an archaic ensemble) alongside villagers, guards, riders, craftspeople (potters, leather merchants, painters, wood sculptors and weavers) recreated the Romanian medieval atmosphere.
Next Adrian Găzdaru, the manager of Excelsior Theater, will tell us how an achievement from the world of theatre came to be recorded by Guinness World Records.
"It all started from my belief that we should not forget what our ancestors did. Hence the idea of staging the show 'Vlaicu Voda', which was performed in the Constitution Square last year from June 8 to 10 and from August 21 to 26. While thinking over the show, which I intended to be a reenactment of the medieval village, a revival of the medieval village and its traditions, I realized that, given the very large surface required by the show, namely 4 thousand square meters, the spectators should have had to walk a certain distance from one act to another, from one scene to another. Therefore it would have been very difficult for them, among whom old people or people with disabilities, to see the full show. So there emerged the idea of a revolving auditorium, which proved to be the largest one in the world, and thus it was registered by Guinness World Records."
The show was part of a special production which was intended to provide a complex theatrical experience. The show unfolded for one whole day in the atmosphere of the 14th century, during the rule of Vlaicu Voda. The event was a dream came true, according to Adrian Găzdaru:
"It is important to dream and believe in your dream. A dream that should be in perfect resonance with the directing, the music, the acting, with everything. I strongly believed in my dream, namely the play Vlaicu Voda, the revolving auditorium, it was actually the dream of all those involved in the show."
The dismountable auditorium weighed 45 tons and it took 6 trucks with payloads to transport it. The auditorium was built in 5 weeks and mounted in 4 days. Adrian Găzdaru is back at the microphone with details:
"I believe it was the first time that a stage design element received a big round of applause. In the beginning, when they entered and got acquainted with the medieval village, the spectators noticed the novelty, it was something new that they had not seen before in the middle of Bucharest. They took their seats in the auditorium, the show then started and the beginning of the show, as imagined by director Horia Suru, lasted around 15-20 minutes. In these 20 minutes the spectators became captivated by the show. At the end of the first scene, they were heading to the inn stage, and once they were there, the auditorium started moving. The engine was first started and the noise kind of startled the spectators who began applauding when the auditorium started moving."
Representatives of Guinness World Records homologated the record of by Excelsior Theater which thus became the first theater in Romania to set a world record. The title is very important, all the more so as it was granted for the show Vlaicu Voda, a special project devoted to the 2018 Union Centennial, which involved the participation and hard work of more than 700 artists and technicians. Besides the spectators' applause, this title, this recognition is the greatest joy for Excelsior Theater, says Adrian Găzdaru, the theater's manager.
"Life is beautiful, especially when you have a dream and when your dream comes true. And you have to fight for your dream. There were many people who wanted to see the show, to see the medieval village, the much hyped revolving auditorium."