OPEN ARENA – Theatre of Testimonies is a creative research platform exploring Romanian voices in UK through individual narratives looking at how Romanian contemporary culture and identity were shaped in the shadows of communist oppression. By means of interactive theatre experiences and site-responsive performances, we will be collecting and archiving individual narratives of Romanian exile in Britain

    The work is driven by a creative endeavour to challenge the Romanian identity discourse and to reflect upon the cultural representation of post-communist Romania in Europe, unfolding the authentic stories of the Romanian expats. Extracting Romanian narratives and exploring the memory of exile will generate a collection of stories that could lead to a deeper understanding of Romanian cultural paradigms and the commemoration of the hidden history of Romanian endeavours for democracy.

Using immersive techniques to create applied drama.


Memory is our most honest reflection of identity and the key to our sense of being in the world. Memory is the archive of our existence and the fine string that holds together what we know and think about who we are. On the other hand, the experience of witnessing someone’s performance of memory gives us the liberating reassurance that we are rooted in this world.

Imagine visiting a museum and finding a gallery of real live humans where you can immerse into their memories and find out things that may be revealed only to you.

Memodrome: Home immersive performance installation opens the door of new spectacular experiences, guiding the audience into the life and memories of real people.  Four people and their memories of home and migration will be displayed during a four hours installation at Horniman Museum.

The performance is a storytelling performative display where your participation influences the narrative: you will be able to listen the stories, ask tellers questions, witness and even share your own memories of what home means to you.

Born under the umbrella of Theatre of Testimonies, Memodrome: Home is a performative journey into the real life stories of four Romanian migrants living in London, reflecting on matters of identity and belonging.
Intimate and exploratory, with no written script, the performance invites to personal connection and self-directed interaction with performers.

Concept and research: Anca Doczi
Directing and Production: Cristian Luchian
Music: Tyrrell
Research assistants: Diana Buluga, Cristian Pascariu
Performers: Loredana Ivanov, Janos Nagy, Ana Turcanu, Vinicius Les




Nothing but a real story told in real time!
Through “Incubator” the audience was immersed into an exceptional situational experience and creatively explored memories of ante 89’ Romania. This highly interactive theatre event, first from the Open Arena series, is emphasising the story of Romanian artist Mariana Gordan and her dramatic encounter with Securitatea in 1979 in Ceausescu`s Romania. For almost two hours, Mariana lead the audience into the labyrinths of her memory testifying about her escape from a 30 years sentence in a Communist jail and about her exile in Britain. Moreover, the audience had the chance to creatively respond to Mariana’s story and to share individual memories.

“Incubator” is where you hear, feel, taste, see, learn, cry, laugh, speak, meet someone new, find impressive stories, drink some wine, kiss your lover, tell your friends about what happen, think about yourself…

An emotional carousel experience designed by Immersive Theatre and co-created by the audience.

Concept: Anca Doczi
Artistic Direction: Cristian Luchian
Special guest: Mariana Gordan
Co – creator: The Audience

Many thanks to the Ratiu Family Foundation and Romanian Cultural Centre in London.

“The Memory Collector”

The Memory Collector is part of the generation reshaped by natural occurring cataclysms such as earthquakes, ‘Chernobyl’ or ‘Romanian Communism’.  As a four years old ‘Hawk of the Homeland’, dressed in an orange tunic and a dark blue skirt, she used to call former communist leaders Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu “Mum and Dad”. But this was nothing unusual for the proud Hawks of the Homeland. However, later on, after 25 years of living in a free country along with other free people, she would only than wonder how must have felt her real father when a Securitate guy asked him once to write ‘Snow White’ with his left hand.

She used to live in a country left without memories and she felt a country without memories is no country at all. Therefore she realised she wasn’t really living anywhere.
One day she started (re)imagining her country by collecting memories of those who lived there once. During this memodrome performance, The Memory Collector is presenting a box of memories from different ages of Romania and members of audience are invited to draw objects related to testimonies of those different people. She is then performing each testimony until the box is empty.

But the memory box should not remain empty. It will be filled with memories from the audience.

Memory Collector: Anca Doczi
Artistic Direction: Cristian Luchian

© 2011/'16 Copyright - Anca Doczi