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Fri, 10 May


Romanian Cultural Institute

Liana Ceterchi Brings to the Stage Queen Elisabeth of Romania in “Tempting Mission”

Discover forgotten histories brought to life!

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Liana Ceterchi Brings to the Stage Queen Elisabeth of Romania in “Tempting Mission”
Liana Ceterchi Brings to the Stage Queen Elisabeth of Romania in “Tempting Mission”

Time & Location

10 May 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH, UK

About the event

We celebrate Romanian Royalty Day with a theatre performance based on the vast correspondence of two giants of Romanian history, the first Royal Couple of Romania: King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth. This tour de force by and with Liana Ceterchi brings to the forefront the immense personality of Queen Elisabeth of Romania, known under the pen-name Carmen Sylva, a prolific author, skilled musician, patron of the arts and “mother to the Nation” during the trying times of the War of Independence (1877-1878).

The event is part of RCI London's Theatre Season.

In Romanian with English surtitles.

Elisabeth of Wied (Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise; 29 December 1843 – 18 February 1916) was the first queen of Romania as the wife of King Carol I from 15 March 1881 to 27 September 1914. She had been the princess consort of Romania since her marriage to then-Prince Carol, on 15 November 1869.

Elisabeth was born into a German noble family. She was briefly considered as a potential bride for the future British king Edward VII. Elisabeth married Prince Carol of Romania in 1869. Their only child, Princess Maria, died aged three in 1874, and Elisabeth never fully recovered from the loss of her daughter. When Romania became a kingdom in 1881, Elisabeth became queen and she was crowned together with Carol that same year.

In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, also known as the Romanian War of Independence, she devoted herself to the care of the wounded and founded the Decoration of the Cross of Queen Elisabeth to reward distinguished service in such work. She fostered the higher education of women in Romania, and established societies for various charitable objects. Queen Elisabeth founded the National Society for the Blind and was the first royal patron of the Romanian Red Cross.

Queen Elisabeth was also known under the pen-name Carmen Sylva and was a prolific author. She wrote fluently in German, Romanian, French and English and her lively poetic imagination led her to the path of literature.  Her writings include poems, plays, novels, fairy tales, short stories, essays, journals, and translation from the Romanian folklore. Early recognised as a good pianist, organist and singer, she also showed considerable ability in painting and photographing. She was a muse and patron for many artists, including Romanian legendary composer George Enescu, who was characterising her as "an undisputed embodiment of kindness."

Liana Ceterchi has directed for the most prestigious theatres in Bucharest, among which Bulandra, Act, Jewish State Theatre and Nottara. In recent years, she has made an active effort to encourage and support Romanian independent theatre and, most notably, to enhance the female presence in the performing arts. She set up the “IF / DACĂ ... Women in Theatre Association” through which she produced numerous shows starring both famous actresses and young talent. The role of her association has also proved unique in raising fundamental problems such as “autism”, using drama as therapy and performing in women’s prisons throughout Romania. In recent years, she focused on presenting aspects of Romania's lesser-known history, that of our Royal House.  She staged "Ileana, Princess of Romania", a play concerning the life of the daughter of Queen Marie, who became a nun and founded the first Orthodox monastery in the USA.  In 2018, on the occasion of Romania's Centenary, she produced "Queen Marie, Queen of all Romanians", based on the queen's wartime journals. In 2019, she created "1919 Royal Mission to Paris and London”, a play inspired by Queen Marie's book "The Latest Chapters of My Life", emphasising her contribution to the Paris Peace Conference.

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