“The problem with parody is that it is impossible to overcome reality”

Playwright, actor, stage director and screenwriter maxi rodriguez(Mieres, 1965), collaborator of LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, will appear on the balcony of the Town Hall in Plaza Mayor to kick off the Gijon’s Big Week back to normal. Although last year it was the tennis player Pablo Carreño who had the honor of offering his speech online, on this occasion the Consistory is committed to “one of the most brilliant and recognized representatives of the Asturian performing arts”. Rodríguez accumulates awards of recognized prestige, among which an Ondas stands out, for being a screenwriter of the comedy “7 lives”.

–How did you receive the news to give the proclamation of the Big Week?

-They called me on Friday from the press department of the City Council to tell me that they had thought of me and what I thought of the idea. They convinced me quickly and now I am convincing myself.

What was the first thing that came to your mind when you hung up that call?

–The responsibility, expectation and repercussion of giving the proclamation. As a Gijonian by adoption I will try to live up to it. For me, this speech has a very strong affective and emotional issue, since I have been living in Gijón for more than 35 years. I feel honored and privileged to be able to spend time with neighbors, friends and tourists and to be able to invite them to have a good party. I will try to share that time in the best possible way.

–Have you had the opportunity to think about the focus of the proclamation?

–I still don’t know what I’m going to do, but I do know what I don’t want. I will not be solemn or boring. From there, we’ll see what happens. I suppose there will be some reference to the pandemic, but in any case it will be a de-dramatizing look, with more laughter and hope than pain.

–This election is a tribute both to his figure and to the performing arts, which have had such a bad time in recent years.

-It seems to me that this election contributes to the fact that the people of the performing arts, theater and local dance feel a little rewarded for everything they gave at a time when there was a lot of fear. We artists have contributed to dispelling fear through laughter.

–What is your opinion about the support given both from the Principality and from Gijón to the performing arts?

-I’m not that old, but I did start very young and I’ve been in the profession for many years. I never found an ideal moment for the theater. It is an eternal iron health that keeps us going, even though we have always been in crisis. Now there are complaints from the profession, as there were in the eighties when I started in this. The important thing is that we continue.

–In “Stopping in Villalpando”, his weekly section in LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, he bets on fine and popular humor. Is laughter necessary in modern times?

– Theater people always believe that laughter kills fear, even in the worst moments. It is a fundamental element to degrease the daily news. I see it as a healing element, as a kind of therapy that allows us to get through day to day in the best possible way.

-It seems clear that reality is always stranger than fiction. Is current affairs a little proof of this?–The problem of those of us who sometimes make parody is that we are incapable of overcoming the reality of the characters we imitate. The reality passes you by. We scriptwriters often include facts that happen in reality in series or movies and many times the public thinks that it is not real.

–In the case of Gijón. Would you give for a play?

-Not only that of Gijón, I suppose that the same will happen with that of all the cities. At the political level there is always tension and conflict. That is where we playwrights live. It is the basis of the theater.

“The problem with parody is that it is impossible to overcome reality”