VALENCIA (EP). The Sala Russafa de València launches the special program for the Christmas holidays with the world premiere of My dear fool Spaina new co-production of the Valencian theater with the Arden company, who founded it as a center for scenic creation and exhibition twelve years ago.
Throughout that time, acid comedy has become a classic (almost a genre), with references to the political and social situation, accompanied by live music and loaded with parody and self-criticism, with which every year they fill the stage and Christmas. It is their own label that has been defining shows such as ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Looking for the Wizard of Oz (Oh, EurOZpa)’, ‘Journey to Neverland’, ‘The Revelation’ or ‘And the ship goes?’, among others.
For this season, from December 16 to January 8, it presents a new show resulting from one of the perhaps “most unexpected” crosses: ‘La Divina Commedia’, by Dante, with ‘Los episodios nacionales’, by Benito Pérez Galdós. “A totally explosive cocktail when the farce, cartoonish and foul-mouthed tone that Cardeña applies to these comedies is added, with which he seeks to exorcise the tensions accumulated throughout the year, but without ceasing to make the audience think,” they say from the culture space.
“In general, when this final stretch of December arrives, we are saturated with the bad news that has been adding up for months, with the obligations that the holidays entail, with the unknowns about whether something will really change with the entry of the new year,” argues the author and director of the new show, Chema Cardeña.
In his opinion, it is the right moment to burst out laughing, to be able to recognize one’s own miseries from humor and feel the catharsis of positive emotions that comedy provides, although without losing sight of one of the greatest virtues of the performing arts: “These shows put us in front of a mirror, we see our own caricature and of course we laugh. But criticism also penetrates, the message that we can be a much better society,” adds the playwright.
In the new Christmas show at Arden and Sala Russafa, the stage is transformed into hell, a warm place at whose doors Spain arrives. The country has died of natural causes – who knows if because of the tear that some never tire of announcing or because of the deficiencies in the health system when he goes to the emergency room with a heart attack from one of the many parliamentary clashes – and, instead of Going straight to heaven, Dante finds him at the entrance to Avernus, condemned for the seven deadly sins that he has been committing throughout his history.
“We have not been little angels”
“If we stop to review how the sum of medieval kingdoms that we know today as Spain was born and has developed, the truth is that we have not been little angels. There have been episodes marked by pure greed, by pride or by anger. Gluttony, laziness and envy are part of the clichés with which many define us. And regarding lust, we have ancient examples, but also very recent ones of the erotics of power”, comments Cardeña.
However, the famous writer Dante, transformed into a theatrical character for this comedy, doubts about the advisability of taking a country with such historical weight to eternal flames. So he decides to call the figures that have marked his future to try to save her. “The fact is that only five are provided, and what a five!” They are the religious Santa Teresa de Jesús, the conquistador Hernán Cortés, the soldier Agustina de Aragón, the artist Salvador Dalí and the philosopher Maimonides.
Each one of them arrives on stage with the typical clothing of their time, the obsessions and expressions of their character, making up a team that looks more like a cricket cage than a rescue squad.
With the public as the jury, they will face different tests to redeem each of the deadly sins committed by Spain in a review of the country’s history full of satire and parody, with hilarious dialogues and situations, in a comedy that grows as the years go by. minutes and the moment of the final verdict is drawing near.
Rosa López, Darío Torrent, Jaime Vicedo, Saoro Ferre, Raquel Ortells and Cardeña himself interpret this comedy whose plot progresses accompanied by live versions of great songs of all time. “It is one of the hallmarks of our Christmas shows. The music gives it an even greater festive tone and reinforces the message that we are transmitting because the musical selection is chosen to make each scene grow”, says the director and author of the piece, pointing to David Campillos as the person responsible for this fundamental part of the assembly.
In this particular hell where Spain fights to save itself from the flames, versions of songs like ‘Don’t leave me this way’ (The Communards), ‘Lady Marmelade’ (LaBelle) or ‘I will follow him’ (André Rieu). The actors start singing along with a group of professional musicians, regulars on the Valencian independent scene. This year, the music is provided by the independent Valencian group The Grannies Band, made up of vocalist José García del Real, drummer José Montoro and bassist David Campillos, who are joined by guitarist Rubén Marqués.
Sala Russafa crosses Dante and Galdós in the “acid” comedy ‘My dear silly Spain’