The theater to come: less politics, more existentialism

The financial crisis of 2008 It caused such social consequences that it didn’t take long for them to be reflected in the theaters with a flood of shows with a strong political charge and very attached to the problems of the moment. But the pandemic, almost three decades later, broke the trend: the creators seem to have withdrawn in on themselves. Many of the works that will be seen in 2023 focus on intimate, introspective, existential themes or on the theatrical event itself. Or they are revisions or rereadings of the classics. What follows is a small selection of some promising premieres (some will have a national tour later) that will be seen in Spain in the coming months.

Contemporary Spanish dramaturgy

Let’s start the year with faith. The will to believe A revelation show from last autumn, after its premiere in Madrid in September, a tour began on Wednesday at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona that will continue in A Coruña, Seville, Zamora, Barakaldo and Murcia. Written and directed by Pablo Messiez (he is Argentine, but falls into the category of Spanish dramaturgy because he has lived in Madrid for years), the work is inspired by a cult film by Dreyer, ordet, to give a twist to the mechanisms of faith: but not from a religious point of view —despite the fact that there is a character who believes he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ— but from a perspective amazed by the human being’s ability to believe what you want to believe. Sophisticated, original and with more layers than an onion, but at the same time full of humor and easy to enjoy.

Another bet that is safe because it was already seen last year is supernormal, work of Esther F. Carrodeguas that the National Dramatic Center (CDN) premiered the previous season and will resume in March by popular acclaim. The show, directed by Iñaki Rikarte, questions prejudices and political correctness with a cast of non-disabled actors who talk about sex with humor and openly. A curiosity: the cast includes Carlota Gaviño, who also acts in The will to believe. And in another outstanding work of autumn in Madrid that will soon begin its national tour: easy reading, the theatrical adaptation of the homonymous novel by Cristina Morales Directed by Alberto San Juan.

Apart from these and many other productions carried over from last year, new texts by prominent Spanish playwrights will see the light of day in the coming months. Starting with the most consecrated, Juan Mayorgawhich comes from a annus mirabilis during which two of his texts were premiered —the golem Y Silence, the latter with its own addressY won the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In 2023 there will be another two: Friendship, which will begin its journey on January 26 at the Teatro Español in Madrid with staging by José Luis García-Pérez, and Maria Luisa, Directed by Mayorga himself, from April 20 at the Teatro de la Abadía in Madrid.

From left to right: Anna Marchessi, Emilio Gavira, Carlota Gaviño (above), Irene Serrano and Natalia Huarte (below), in ‘Supernormales’.Photo: SORIOUS LIGHT

The new work of Pablo Rosal, author who gave the bell two seasons ago with those who speak, It is also promising: Murder of a photographer, a piece that could be described as “theatre not to go”, which is both a tribute and a parody of the conventions of the classic detective novel. Directed by Ferran Dordal, it will be presented on January 18 at the Beckett room in Barcelona and in April it will also be seen at the Abbey.

The playwright José Manuel Mora and the director Carlota Ferrer, whose work night swimmers won in 2015 the Max for best new showhave put up a continuation titled day swimmers with the same structure: if that one presented a kaleidoscope of characters around a swimming pool, the second part takes place in a beauty salon. It opens on February 9 in Spanish.

Lucia Carballalanother Spanish playwright of great projection, will premiere the pale ones, which will also mark her debut as a stage director: an immersion in the television industry starring a team of scriptwriters in desperate search of success, a world that the author knows well because she is a scriptwriter herself. The premiere It will be on February 20 at the CDN. Four days later, that same house will present a new work written and directed by its artistic director, Alfredo Sanzol: Fundamentally fantasies for resistance, who gets into the puddle of the Ukrainian war through a theater company that turns its rehearsal space into a refuge while preparing a show ad hoc titled Pin, Bread, Putin. In the absence of seeing the result on stage, one senses a good mix of humor and tragedy, perhaps like the one achieved by Ernst Lubitsch in his unforgettable film To be or not to be.

Yoan Yago, another author who has been on the rise for a decade as a member of the La Calòrica company, approaches the experience of death by adolescents in All the one that will pass from now on (Everything That Will Happen From Now On), which will premiere at the Lliure on March 29, with a staging by Glòria Balañà i Altimira.

This 2023 should have been the year it was released I die because I don’t die monologue of Paco Bezerra that revives Teresa de Jesús in today’s Spain, but the Government of the Community of Madrid vetoed its presentation at the Teatros del Canal, scheduled for this month of January. However, the saint seems especially inspiring in these times, since the National Theater of Catalonia (TNC) will premiere on April 27 another work that draws on the life and work of Teresa de Jesús, bad heart, of the Argentine playwright living in Barcelona Victoria Szpunberg.

And almost closing the season, on May 12 another promising production will arrive at the CDN: falsestuff. The death of the muses, of the most hooligan duo of the Spanish theater, Nao Albet and Marcel Borras. This is a review of the show with the same title that premiered in 2018 on the TNC, just like they did two seasons ago with their successful Robbery, beating and death in Agbanäspach. Unclassifiable, fun and always overflowing with imagination.

foreign authors

The actor Eduard Fernandez will premiere on January 21 at the Calderón Theater in Valladolid his first monologue, All the love songs an exciting text by the Argentinean Santiago Loza on mother-child sentiment, directed by Andrés Lima. In the recently reopened Pavón theater in Madrid it will be presented on January 25 contractions, disturbing work by the British Mike Bartlett that delves into the stormy sea of ​​contemporary labor relations, performed by Candela Peña and Pilar Castro with a staging by Israel Solà, partner of the aforementioned Yoan Yago in the company La Calòrica.

The Uruguayan Gabriel Calderón is making an important place for himself on the Spanish stage. After his recent successes Story of a wild boar or something by Ricardo Y anna against deaththe director Natalia Menéndez will premiere on March 16 in Spanish her work Uz: the people. The dancer and choreographer Luz Arcas will launch into the text theater with a particular version of Psychosis 4.48, by the British Sarah Kane, starting June 7 in Spanish. Y Sergio Peris-Mencheta will stand up Heavens, fourth and last piece of the tetralogy of tragedies that the Lebanese Wajdi Mouawad began with his famous and impressive Fires, which he will present on June 14 at the Abbey.

Classics, revisions and adaptations

Greek classics never go out of style: actress Fernanda Orazi makes her directorial debut with a very personal adaptation of the electra Sophocles, next Thursday at the Abbey. There is never a lack lorca: the barren that director Juan Carlos Martel premiered last November at the Lliure will arrive at the CDN a day later. Carme Portaceli will present a new staging of the Catalan classic on January 18 low ground, by Àngel Guimerà, with a version by Pablo Ley. Ibsen never fails: until January 29, a Hedda Gabler directed by Alex Rigola. Other ibsen: Spectral, with staging by María Fernández Ache, in Spanish from January 27. Veterans José Luis Gómez and Ana Belen they will star in one of the most exotic projects of the year that will premiere on March 3 at the Calderón de Valladolid: they will give life to Romeo and Juliet in a work by the Austrian Eberhand Petschika that changes the ending that Shakespeare gave to the two lovers; They did not die, but plunged into a long lethargy from which they woke up in their eighties, without recognizing each other.

The year is also loaded with adaptations of novels. version of paradise lost of Milton which premiered last year Andres Lima will tour several cities. Ernesto Caballero will take to the tables The process, by Kafka (in February on the CDN). Madame Bovary will come to life at the Teatros del Canal (February) and the TNC (March) in a version by the Belgian Michael de Cock with a staging by Carme Portaceli. the fireproof Nuria Espert will return to the stage with Vicky Peña to star in an adaptation of the island of air by Alejandro Palomas, under the direction of Mario Gas (in March at the Romea in Barcelona). dangerous liaisons, adapted by Carol López, will be seen at the Lliure in May. And a name that never fails on stage is Miguel Delibes: this year they are still on tour The wars of our ancestors, The innocent saints Y Red woman on gray background.

international productions

The big international productions are usually concentrated in the big autumn or summer festivals, the following names that appear sprinkled in the regular programming of some theaters should not be overlooked. The French novelist plays himself in the stage version of his book who killed my father led by german thomas ostermeier (Conde Duque Center in Madrid, January). French director Philipe Quesne will present farm fatale in the CDN (January). The Greek Euripides Laskaridis will present Relic (Count Duke, February). From the Parisian Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord will arrive the mouth, signed by Valérie Lesort and Christian Hecq (Canal, February). The Belgian Anne-Cécile Vandalem will bring Kingdom (Canal and Lliure, March).

The Argentine Andrea Garrote will make a small tour in with her powerful monologue pride, with which he already amazed last year in Madrid (Madrid, Seville, Palma). the british katie mitchell will bring its avant-garde version Orlando, produced by the Schaübuhne in Berlin (Canal, April). The corrosive French company Chiens de Navarre will present The life is a party (Channel, April). From the eccentric Irish company Dead Center there will be an adaptation of the film The silence, by Ingmar Bergman (Canal, April). And the Belgian Miet Warlop will do a double in Barcelona and Madrid with After All Springville (Lliure and Canal, April and May).

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The theater to come: less politics, more existentialism