REVIEW: Dispara / Agafa Tresor / Repeteix dir. Josep Maria Mestres

Seven interconnected mini-plays, selected and reshuffled from the 16 that comprise Shoot / Get Treasure / Repeat, bring coherence and resonance to Mark Ravenhill‘s satirical text, that explores the effects of war on our personal relationships and public lives.

Shoot/GetTreasure/Repeat by Mark Ravenhill. dir.Josep Maria Mestres, photo: Ros Ribas

Directed by Josep Maria Mestres and staged at Barcelona’s Teatre LliureDispara / Agafa Tresor / Repeteix is an unflinching, funny and powerful production that does justice to Ravenhill’s texts, previously performed as single plays at the Edinburgh Fringe. A brilliant cast in which Carmen Machi, Sílvia Bel and Mar Casas stand out, and effective staging with video screens showing images of war mashed with daytime TV, contribute to the hyped, chaotic atmosphere. Dialogues reveal uneasy games played between contradictory terms: security becomes synonymous with intrusion, freedom with control and love with violence.

Ravenhill rose to prominance in the 1990s with upfront British theatre (Shopping and Fucking), a style that these days might seem a bit trite. With references to the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq, Shoot / Get Treasure / Repeat (2008) is very much of an era. While Mestres could have gone further in bringing something local to the production (the TV images are British and American) he does succeed in bringing out the timelessness and universality of its themes. The translation and cast inject “local vulgarity” into universal characters that, while extreme, are uncomfortably recognisable in ourselves.

Carmen Machi as The Mother in Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat photo by Ros Ribas

The plays

Each is given the title of a classic text. The Trojans throws middle class ‘good’ women into the thick of a warzone. Fear and Misery pries into the fragile personal and public lives of the wealthy. Twilight of the Gods questions priorities, a theme developed in Crime and PunishmentParadise Lost tackles torture. Carmen Machi is brilliantly vulgar and empathetic in The Mother. And there’s an impressive performance by the young Adrià Roca / Oriol Sans in War and Peace – a explosive end to a cycle in which war implicates everyone.

War and Peace in Shoot/GetTreasure/Repeat by Mark Ravenhill. dir. Josep Maria Mestres/ photo Ros Ribas

Dispara / Agafa Tresor / Repeteix – Teatre Lliure (Montjuic), Barcelona
Until March 3rd, 2013
2hrs45 mins long (with a break)
Mon – Fri 8.30pm, Sat (English and Spanish surtitles) 9.30pm, Sun 6pm (recommended!).
The play is in Upper Intermediate Catalan and some Spanish
Click here for a ticket

Thank you to Ros Ribas for the photos.