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Sun, 21 Jul


Cambridge Junction

“Traffic Jam” by Alina Nelega at Hotbed Theatre Festival Cambridge

Presenting new Romanian drama in English!

“Traffic Jam” by Alina Nelega at Hotbed Theatre Festival Cambridge
“Traffic Jam” by Alina Nelega at Hotbed Theatre Festival Cambridge

Time & Location

21 Jul 2024, 15:00 – 16:30

Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX, UK

About the event

We are thrilled to partner up with Hotbed Theatre Festival Cambridge, which takes place 19-21 July, an annual new writing festival, celebrating and platforming the best new writing from across the region and beyond for the last 22 years. "Traffic Jam” by Alina Nelega, one of Romania’s leading playwrights, will be presented in British premiere in a brand new translation by Jozefina Komporaly.  We warmly invite you to join us for this script-in-hand performance on Sunday 21 July at 3 pm. "Traffic Jam” was a hit when it premiered in Romania and Alina Nelega remains one of the country’s most highly regarded authors.

The show will be followed by a talk featuring author Alina Nelega, translator Jozefina Komporaly and director Paul Bourne.

The play consists of the monologues of six women and a dog – the fragmented dramaturgy reconstructs the action from the different perspectives of characters, showcasing a wide array of female destinies. An abused housewife, a businesswoman, a PR manager who had lost control, an insensitive doctor and a humiliated policewoman  – they are all random participants and characters in an event that stops the traffic. Life comes to a halt for a moment and this stillness gives rise to a series of monologues that offer a cross-section of society. In Nelega’s play, the events are triggered by a woman who rebels against her marriage: she communicates her decision to divorce while sitting in the car, and her actions lead to a series of reactions from other people as if the crisis had forced everyone to reconsider their own lives, there and then.

Details and tickets (£ 10-12) HERE.

Hotbed Festival is an annual festival of new writing for the stage, curated by Menagerie Theatre Company. In over 20 editions, the festival has showcased the work of a wide range of emerging and established artists, including commissions, original plays unseen before and work developed in-house. At Hotbed Festival 2024, you can find international work, world premieres from our Hidden Voices artists and Young Writers, and guest productions from some truly exciting writers and companies. Hotbed Festival is hosted and supported by Cambridge Junction.

Alina Nelega is one of Romania’s finest playwrights and authors. Her work has been translated, published and performed in Romania and internationally. Among other distinctions, she has won the prestigious UNITER award Best Play of the Year twice (in 2001 and in 2014). She holds the „European Author” accolade (Heidelberg Stueckemarkt, 2007), and since 2008 she has been an Honorary Fellow in Writing at the Iowa University. She founded the first new playwright’s festival in Romania, Dramafest, which ran between 1997-2000, also working extensively with independent companies. Between 2010-2012 she was a columnist of the theatre magazine, developing her column, Adverse Reactions. In 2020 she won the Prose Award of the prestigious cultural review Observator Cultural for her novel As If Nothing Happened. As a professor at the University of Arts in Targu-Mureș, she is the tutor of the Playwriting MA, a course which most of today’s most accomplished young playwrights have graduated. Since 2015 she has been the mentor of the Drama5 playwriting residency, developed by the independent ReActor company of Cluj-Napoca. Between 2012-2017 she was the Artistic Director of the „Liviu Rebreanu” company of the National Theatre of Targu-Mureș.

Jozefina Komporaly is a London-based theatre academic and translator from Romanian and Hungarian into English. She is editor and co-translator of the drama collections How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients and Other Plays (Seagull, 2015), András Visky's Barrack Dramaturgy (Intellect, 2017) and Plays from Romania: Dramaturgies of Subversion (Bloomsbury, 2021), and author of numerous publications on translation, adaptation and theatre. Her translations appeared in Asymptote, The Baffler, Columbia Journal, Hungarian Literature Online, Los Angeles Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poet Lore, Words without Borders, World Literature Today, and were produced by Foreign Affairs, Trap Door, Theatre Y, Trafika Europe. Recent publications include Mr K Released by Matéi Visniec (finalist for the 2021 EBRD Literature Prize), Story of a Stammer by Gábor Vida (Seagull Books, 2022), My Life and My Life by Melinda Mátyus (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023). Her translation of Home by Andrea Tompa (Istros Books, 2024) was the recipient of a PEN Translates Grant. She is a member of the UK Translators Association.

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