The directorial premise of the production was to transfer unto film this theatrical piece in an artistic-video manner. We are not debating how much theatre was left within that pursuit. The goal of the creators was to finish a valid aesthetic product that had been adapted to the conditions of the pandemic. And they have done so commendably. Metaphorically speaking, they have also jumped into an empty pool, but they prepared for it carefully and did not break their bones in the meantime. Radu Nica knew exactly what he wanted, he coordinated the ensemble, he guided the actors on uncharted territory, he urged them to act employing brechtian distancing. His vision relies on the addition of video and sound layers onto the dramaturgical one, in a collage of frames recorded at home by the actors, processed by Andu Dumitrescu and Vlaicu Golcea, assembled in a video installation-type piece.
Oltița Cîntec: Pool (No water) or how to jump into an empty pool without breaking all your bones, suplimentuldecultura.ro, June 22, 2020
There are beautifully told, strong monologues, such as Kali Andrea's backlit opening scene, her striking timbre piercing though all the turmoil. However, equally powerful is also Csilla Varga’s performance, when describing Sally’s dying, or her morning cat duo in the kitchen. Also powerful with regards to the text, but also of the rendition is Csaba Marosán’s scene depicting his inner feelings while at a funeral. And there are several times when the visual elements, the images we see and acting mutually enhance each other. The sequence when Kinga Ötvös appears in a swimsuit out of the blue and vibrating darkness to whisper into the camera the sight unfolding in front of their eyes in the pool, is very impressive. Or when András Buzási talks about the tiresome act of care giving while leaning against the door frame against a green-lit corridor.
Anna Magda Fehér: Defects with Effects, szinhaz.net, June 22, 2020
The only claim of the project is that despite a trauma, a fracture, or currently a viral situation, art has lost the function it once possessed, namely to show the right path and set proper values. Of course, we already knew that, the trash-aesthetics reinforces this claim over and over again, and it is important that this excellent material was finally brought under the creative roof of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj. It can be a theatrical-film performance or an additional opportunity for the theatre to be present within the online space, containing and mixing many styles, from conceptualism to pop art.
Gergely Fritz: “I am glad that there is no more art”, jatekter.ro, June 30, 2020
After all, POOL (no water) is a drama of adequacy and inadequacy, a story about the intimate dimension of corporeality, about what can be in fact seen and what must remain private. Moreover, in its current form, it is also about the relationship between presence and absence, about domestic cloisters and access to the globalized rhizome that is beyond the webcam or the link found under the click of the mouse.
Horea Avram: The Body as an Image and Virtual Performance, observatorcultural.ro, June 19, 2020
Perhaps it would not be a bad idea for the cinematographic performance proposed by Radu Nica, Andu Dumitrescu and Vlaicu Golcea to arouse debates about the solutions that people in the theatre have at hand right now: when and how can we approach the audience, what solutions are there.
Nona Rapotan: Pool (no water) - a Performance at the Intersection between Film and Theatre, bookhub.ro, June 11, 2020
A distinct fertile discussion is created by the private spaces from which the actors speak to us. There is so much intimacy in these personal „scenes” that one gets the impression that one enters into what is not merely a material, physical universe, but beyond that, within those interior spaces that are furnished with the moods, emotions, hopes and fears of the characters. The “performance” can also be read as an extensive collage of intimacies, which, by fitting them together, reveal themselves as distinct chapters of a story that concerns all of us who, in one form or another, are connected to art.
Călin Ciobotari: Radu Nica's Film. Impressions, emotions, sensory perceptions… , 7iasi.ro, June 11, 2020
Online theatre is currently just an experiment and the proper rules of this type of theatre have not yet been established. Increasingly courageous online theatre projects, such as this one, have just started to appear. Initially, the actors filmed themselves while the theatre halls were closed out of the need to act, later theatre performances were live streamed all over the world, and all over the country, or small projects featuring actors reciting, based on improvisation, followed by performances created especially to be distributed in an online medium, the most notable of which are, at least so far, those created in Cluj.
Dana Țabrea: The Online Theatre, ziaruldeiasi.ro, June 15, 2020
Director Radu Nica's proposal is a video installation of a contemporary text “Pool (No Water)” by the British playwright Mark Ravenhill, produced by the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj. Although a deep, semi-philosophical play, the director's choice for his approach was inspired by the claustrophobic reality that artists have gone through in recent months. (...) In fact, Radu Nica's video installation represents an ars poetica. An artistic experiment about the lucid and hallucinatory turmoil of the creator.
Elene Coman: Pool (No water) - a video installation about the artist's condition, amfiteatru.ro, June 17, 2020