‘Forever Young’, caricature of old age to a rock rhythm

One can laugh at almost everything and a clear example is how the show mocks old age. Forever Young, recently premiered at the Teatro Cofidis Alcázar in Madrid. The public is peeled with this old musical theater production directed by tricycle and recaptured two decades after its premiere. The formula is simple: a list of cartoon singers making funny characters at the same time that they defend with their good voices and musical technique a well-known repertoire of rock hits from the sixties and seventies.

It seems that this parody about seven retired singer-actors, who coincide in a nursing home to remember his years of sex, drugs and Rock And Roll, is a packaged product aimed at an audience that is calculating their retirement pension, as evidenced by the occupants of the stalls the day I saw the show (and who, by the way, applauded with great satisfaction). But it’s not clear to me that this fun concert of classical songs contextualized in a simple dramaturgy wouldn’t hook a younger audience.

The same Tricicle say that when they saw this show in Oslo they did not hesitate to get the rights for its adaptation into Spanish: “We went to see it in a packed room and, even without understanding a word of Norwegian, we were fascinated with the characters, with the work of the actors and with the quality of the musical versions.”

On stage do not expect to find the members of Tricicle, they hide behind the direction, adaptation and production of the show. This was designed by the Swiss Erik Gedeon, pianist, composer and stage musicianwho also directed the Thalia theater in Hamburg and who, despite being a great unknown in our country, had great success with this work in Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

The production is of a great economy of means. A single scene with a grand piano on one side and six performers who above all are singers and who replicate mythical rock titles such as no woman cry, I will survive, I love rock’n roll, drive my car, Satisfaction, Walk on the wild side And a long etcetera. Sometimes they do it in chorus, other times in duets or alone, the singer Rai Borrell he makes fun DJ-like vocal mixes by performing short snippets of songs. There are ingenious musical arrangements, which allow you to move from one theme to another. Anyway… you can hear the audience humming the songs under their breath, it’s easy to follow the evolution of the singers’ voices because they are songs that almost everyone knows.

The lives of the characters have been adapted by Tricicle to the idiosyncrasy of our country. A) Yes, the pianist Marc García is the author of the Barça 2023 anthem and his peculiarity is that nothing of what he says is understood. Irene Jódar, with a beautiful voice, suffers from memory problems, she has remained anchored in another time, when she represented Juliet. She pairs up with Llorenç González, also an actor, singer and clarinetist, affected by a hip injury that leads him to star in a hilarious scene at the expense of his bones.

Another powerful female voice is that of Lucía Torres, perpetually outraged who in her youth embraced hippieism. Marc Pujol stood out in the past for being destructive at La Fura shows and now he has stayed to feed fish. And Rai Borrell, in addition to not stopping farting, counts in his record having participated in 35 farewell tours for Miguel Ríos.

The counterpoint is provided by Mercè Martínez, fantastic as a nurse with a martial air, in the style of Mrs. Trunchbull from the film Matildaand determined to liven up the lives of the elderly with terrifying songs about physical degradation and the death that he misinterprets on purpose to provoke laughter from the public.

One downside: yes, after so many laughs and good songs they would have saved the final little speechclearly intended to soften the potato of the respectable by appealing to ideas as sparkling as “living life to the full” and taking advantage of every minute, the show would have been more rounded.

artistic sheet

Performers: Rai Borrell, Llorenç González, Irene Jódar, Mercè Martínez, Marc Pujol, Lucía Torres and, on piano, Marc García.

Original script: Erik Gedeon

Direction and adaptation: Tricicle

Musical direction: Marc García Rami

Musical arrangements: Manuel Villalta

Scenography: Paula Bosch

Lighting design: Luis Martí

Sound design: Eudald Gili

Characterization: Helena Fenoy

Costume design: Leo Quintana

Production: Tricycle

‘Forever Young’, caricature of old age to a rock rhythm