Category: Spain

Lost and found – El mar: visió d’uns nens que no l’han vist mai

Antoni Benaiges was born in 1903 into a Catalan family of rural republicans living in Montroig, Tarragona. He trained as a ‘mestre’, a teacher, and on graduating found work in a mixed school in a tiny village in Bañuelos de Bureba, Burgos. There, in a brief two years, Benaiges quietly revolutionised the lives of the… Read more »

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La Estampida: at the tipping point of fame

“In Cádiz where I was born there was a place I loved called Palacio de la Moda. You’d go in and there were mirrors everywhere: on the walls, on the ceiling. You drowned in the spectacle of yourself.” José Troncoso is director of La Estampida, a Spanish theatre collective that burst onto the scene eight… Read more »

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La Víctor C.: a window onto a landscape

The judges at Jocs Florals d’Olot in 1898 reacted in shock when they discovered the author of the prize-winning short story Infanticide was in fact a woman, Catalina Albert i Paradis. It was simply unheard of that one of youth and privilege from the pretty L’Escala in coastal Empordà (Catalonia) could be capable of broaching… Read more »

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Guy Nader & Maria Campos: in flight mode

As the third part in an open-ended trilogy, Made of Space, created by the accomplished Barcelona-based duo Maria Campos and Guy Nader, pushes further (or higher) an ambitious examination of the principles of physics: matter and its motion through space-time, energy, force and the workings of nature. Precision Challenging in its abstract premise, yet open… Read more »

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Jo dona. A Lili Elbe: a timely tribute on a troubled landscape

When the prestigious choreographer Marta Carrasco convinced Albert Hurtado, the charismatic zumba teacher at her local gym to cross-dress before a live audience at the TNC, how could he refuse? The result, the breezy performance piece Jo, dona. A Lili Elbe., a heartfelt tribute to Lili Elbe: a Danish landscape painter and transgender woman, and… Read more »

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4D Òptic: Emotional Science

Citing the influence of physicist Stephen Hawking and the author Jorge Luis Borges, and using Bernard Herrmann’s musical score from the Hitchcock film Vertigo for its scene changes, 4D Òptic by the Argentine playwright and director Javier Daulte marks an exciting trip into 2019. This “restoration, not revival,” of Daulte’s 2004 play is absolutely in… 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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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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