“The dog in the manger” or anything else, according to Paco Mir

Horacio Otheguy Riveira

There is no tighter prologue than this where the actors tell how bad things are, with the Company doing a Valle Inclán gig, leaving them without “the 32 performers” of The dog in the gardener. It’s a funny situation, very old-fashioned comic toy. And both are very good, “true, true”, as a lady next to me would say… but as soon as they introduce the two actresses, characters in conflict in the original work, the graces accumulate badly, as if they didn’t know where to go . But it is not for lack of training, since the show enthusiastically tours the towns of our beloved Spain, alas, since 2021, but because Paco Mir he does one of his own, gracieta goes, gracieta comes, with hardly any elaboration. The gags are repeated, the richness of the original language hardly shows, preferring the versioner’s rubbish, a little-a lot in the style of Muñoz Seca and his fantastic parody of the Golden Age, Don Mendo’s revenge.

Diana, the Countess of Belflor swinging beauty, desire, and the search for love of her great character, a very expensive theme for Lope himself since, while he himself suffered from impetuous love affairs, undermined by difficulties, he created female characters that represented their obsessions, representing in turn a thriving sensuality with which women prisoners of duty make their way to be themselves, while all the men – clumsy goofballs – suffer, struggle in the void, lie, die of love and for love so richly resurrect. Complex plot debated between the whims of a noble lady in front of her plebeian secretary, her jealousy before the marriage of one of her maids, and the duty to continue her lineage. Freedom and social pressures in a “Neapolitan” context to make possible reprehensible messes in the inquisitorial Spain in which it was written (around 1618).

Everything is concentrated here, with a coarsely comic minimalism, professionally defended by the acting quartet, but impoverishing the very funny lopist approach, which deals in depth with the weaknesses of the classism of its time, and masterfully expands a great wealth of very varied characters. .

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«The plot of the technicians will tell us about the difficulties of itinerant companies to raise productions and the solutions to get out of the way in the face of any contingency. What is experienced in this function is one of the most complicated: two technicians without scenery and without costumes undertake to represent a function accompanied by two actresses who have just met. A challenge.

The dog in the gardener It is a palatial play of entanglement in which a countess, seeing that one of her servants has fallen in love with her secretary, has a fit of jealousy and, forgetting the difference in class, falls in love with her servant despite the fact that her honor of a countess may be sullied. The suitors of the countess, alarmed by the events, hire a matador to get rid of the servant, but, at the last minute, a ruse turns the secretary into the lost son of a count, so the wedding between the countess and her servant puts a happy ending to comedy. Paco Mir

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Author: Lope de Vega y Carpio
Recreation and direction: Paco Mir and Maluquer
Cast: Moncho Sánchez-Diezma, Paqui Montoya, Manuel Monteagudo and Amparo Marín
Original music: Juan Francisco Padilla
Costume designer: Mai Canto
Lighting design: Manuel Madueño
Sound: Martin Leal
Scenography and graphics: Paco Mir
Scenographic props: Cristina Cuber + Lalo Ordóñez
Communication: Nuria Diaz Reguera
Distribution: Diego Ruiz – Plan A Productions

Photographs: Pablo Lorente
Production: Vania Productions

CHANNEL THEATERS. UNTIL SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

“The dog in the manger” or anything else, according to Paco Mir