Category: Theatre

Pujol, the play – Corruption of the Catalan Kind

The playwright Jordi Casanovas, author of the forthcoming play Pujol. Photo

A forthcoming Catalan-language play by Jordi Casanovas (pictured above) takes on the charismatic, disgraced Catalan ex-premier Jordi Pujol, the former president of the regional ‘Generalitat’ government (1989 to 2003), who, in 2014, admitted to holding undeclared millions in secret foreign bank accounts for a period of 34 years. While he claimed the cash to be an inheritance, the 85-year-old Pujol and… Read more »

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En Veu Baixa – The Act of Listening

En Veu Baixa (Quietly) by Owen McCafferty directed by Ferran Madico

Place yourself in Belfast in 2009. Two middle-aged Nordies meet in a pub in the jittery presence of a Polish barman. Their lives are linked by a bomb that one threw there, in 1974, at the height of The Troubles. It blew 6 men up, some literally to bits – one of them was the… Read more »

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Grec Festival 2016 – A Brief Introduction

De Stille Kracht, Toneelgroup Amsterdam. photo: Jan Versweyveld

If you’re passing the Palau de la Virreina on the Rambles or staring up at any of the lampposts around Barcelona, you’ll see some rather optically-challenging ads for a summer event called the Grec, an annual performing arts festival of some 141 acts, plus discussions and other activities that go on through July. Its name derives from the expansive amphitheatre a bit up… Read more »

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The Reign in Spain – An Unofficial History

A satirical theatre production at Madrid’s Teatro del Barrio (6th April – 22nd June 2016) interrogates the role and reputation of the King of Spain as the country’s head of state and its military. The monarch in play is the now 78-year-old Juan Carlos I, who first set foot in Spain at the age of 10,… Read more »

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B for Bárcenas – Spanish Scandal on Screen

B., la pelicula is directed by David Ilundain and based on the stage play Ruz/Barcenas by Jordi Casanovas. It stars Pedro Casablanc as Bárcenas and Manolo Solo as Ruz.

The extraordinary court encounter between the Spanish judge Pablo Ruz and the Partido Popular politician Luis Bárcenas Gutiérrez has been made into an award-winning, triple Goya-nominated film directed by David Ilundáin. In 2013, Bárcenas, of the right-wing ‘People’s Party’, was brought before judge Ruz for a second time and admitted to running a slush fund for nearly two decades while holding the… Read more »

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Invernadero – Pinter’s blend of slapstick and horror

Invernadero (The Hothouse) by Harold Pinter, directed by Mario Gas. Translated by Eduardo Mendoza. Photo: Ros Ribas.

Mario Gas, one of Spain’s best-known directors and Eduardo Mendoza, one of the country’s best-known authors, bring their brains together for this pop-up theatre production of Harold Pinter’s lesser-known black comedy The Hothouse (Invernadero), at Barcelona’s Teatre Lliure until February 21st, 2016.  This comic, tragic, macabre play is set in a government-approved institution where countless ‘residents’ are numbered rather… Read more »

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Una Giornata Particolare – Life, Death and the Rumba

Clara Segura and Pablo Derqui in Una Giornata Particolare directed by Oriol Broggi. Photo: David Ruano

The Italian director Ettore Scola died last month. Probably the most internationally famous of his films was Una Giornata Particolare (A Special Day), a domestic love story starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, set on the occasion of Adolf Hitler’s visit to Benito Mussolini’s Rome in 1938. The film was released in 1977, and won a Golden Globe and was nominated… Read more »

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What’s on? Juicio a una Zorra – A Cry for Justice

Juicio a una zorra, directed by Miguel del Arco, photo © Sergio Parra

A middle-aged, peroxide blonde Helen of Troy staggers into a neon-lit bar and pours herself a drink. So begins the Spanish-language play Juicio a una Zorra, a powerful and passionate monologue delivered by acclaimed actress Carmen Machi (Hable con Ella, Abrazos Rotos), on at Teatre Goya (Barcelona) from 19th – 31st January 2016. Director Miguel Del Arco wrote the piece to give… Read more »

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Review: Nàufrags (The Shipwrecked) by Lluís Danés

Nàufrags is a piece of visual / puppet theatre on the theme of ‘the shipwrecked’, created by the film and stage director Lluís Danés. The last instalment in Mercat de les Flors’ innovative performance cycle Oh! Poètiques de la Il.lusió is a visually and atmospherically accomplished piece, engineered to disturb its audience with a range of cinematic devices. Billowing black bin bags, mood lighting… Read more »

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Last chance! Marits i Mullers (Husbands and Wives)

Andreu Benito, Sandra Monclús, Mònica Glaenzel y Joan Carreras // Photo Copyright: Projecte Fonamentum

Oh-my-gosh, it was indeed a Happy New Year! thanks to this blinding Catalan production of Marits i Mullers. Director Àlex Rigola’s sweet, slick, highly inventive and immensely enjoyable theatrical adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1992 movie, Husbands and Wives, was not only better than the original – kinda, but notably generous to the public. It made me think of… Read more »

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