Author: Alx Phillips

The Vibrator Play: Power to the Passions

L'habitació del costat (In the Next Room)

This pitch-perfect Catalan production captures the comedy and charm of Sarah Ruhl’s provocative play In the Next Room / L’habitació del costat. Set in America in the late 19th century, at the time of Thomas Edison’s invention of electrical lighting, the pioneering Dr. Givings receives female patients complaining of ‘hysteria’, to whom he applies a recent… Read more »

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Cronología de las Bestias: the Lies that Bind Us

Cronología de las Bestias. Photo: Javier Naval

In the entertaining thriller play Cronología de las Bestias, written and directed by the Argentine Lautaro Perotti, Spanish actress Carmen Machi is unforgettable as Olvido, a beer-swilling mother with a strange fixation on the washing machine, whose missing son Beltrán shows up behind the sofa after a 12 year absence. Instantly recognised by his antsy aunt… Read more »

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Kassandra: Fake prophecy lost in interpretation

Kassandra at Barcelona's Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

Elisabet Casanovas gives an impressive yet exhausting performance as Kassandra. This excessively didactic play by Sergio Blanco is based on the figure of Greek tragedy who was cursed with the power of prophecy yet further cursed to never be believed. This familiar part of the tale was dropped in near the end with a tarot card… Read more »

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Keep on Walking, Federico: An Ode to the Outsider

Mark Lockyer: Keep on Walking, Federico

Like his first piece, Living With the Lights On, Mark Lockyer’s “love letter to Spain” is an intense, sprawling monologue of inner and outer experiences, realisations of recent and distant past, delivered in an entertaining attack of sincerity. Unlike his first piece, Keep on Walking, Federico is set in an anonymous “authentically Spanish” village on the… Read more »

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Eurohouse/Palmyra: The Great Break-Up

Eurohouse / Palmyra Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas

Frenchman Bertrand Lesca and British-Greek Nasi Voutsas take on the EU and the Syrian crisis in the first two parts of a subversive ‘accidental trilogy’ bound by an austere tragicomic visual language. Accessible and entertaining, expect big themes, character-driven performances and the capacity to shift the mood very suddenly from light to dark. EUROHOUSE Developed… Read more »

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Tebas Land: Tragedy with a Twist

In this fabulously intense and manipulative Spanish-language drama by Franco-Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco, Martín, a young man who has murdered his father, becomes a material resource for S, an earnest if smug playwright-professor. The latter wants to make a play about parricide, a modern theatrical take on the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex; the former is… Read more »

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La Calavera de Connemara: Grave Matter

The proposition to exhume the remains of fascist dictator Francisco Franco after nearly half a decade resting in peace in a state-funded mausoleum, puts a grave twist on Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara that makes a return to Barcelona’s La Villarroel in an energetic Catalan version directed by Iván Morales. Set in the district… Read more »

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Three Times Rebel – Rage against the patriarchy

Marina Mascarell Three Times Rebel

“Sexism fixates on the body of a woman,” says the Valencia-born choreographer Marina Mascarell, whose pitch perfect dance piece Three Times Rebel uncovers the roots of the feminist movement as an act of physical defence as well as intellectual defiance. The contemporary work, which premiered last year, developed “organically” after years of research, says Mascarell…. Read more »

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Lali Ayguadé’s ‘iUanMi’ – Four Dancers and a Funeral

iUanMi Lali Ayguadé Co.

A funeral as the setting for the second dance piece in a trilogy is an intriguing departure point in this new creation by the choreographer Lali Ayguadé. iUanMi, like its predecessor Kokoro, is a contemporary dance piece for four performers that explores internal and external worlds and the transformative relationship between them. An enormous curtain… Read more »

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