'The Revenge of Don Mendo', the fourth most represented play of all time in Spain, is one of the best examples of linguistic engineering of the country literature, a classic text that reinterpreted in the key of musical comedy Clapso Producciones premieres the 16th May at the Cuyás Theater in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the cultural space directed by Gonzalo Ubani, whose tickets for the eight functions planned are put on sale tomorrow.
Fourteen performers and four dancers, all from the Canary Islands, star in this show that directs Israel Reyes who, in the words of Yanely Hernández, one of the protagonists of this production, will convert the text of enredo and humor of Pedro Muñoz Seca "into a whole 'clápsico'", says the Gran Canaria actress on the version prepared by the theatrical director, responsible of hits like 'La Ratonera' or 'Don Juan Tenorio'.
"'The revenge of Don Mendo' has a lot to do with the Clapso spirit," explains Reyes. "The astracanada or the parodic comedy of a part of history is something that characterizes our productions because it allows us, with respect to the original script, to give the work a new language by taking some licenses with 'La Ratonera' or 'El Tenorio 'were impossible because of the rigidity of the text, "he adds.
José Carlos Campos, Yanely Hernández, Lamberto Guerra, Lili Quintana, David García, Rubén Darío and Víctor Formoso star in this adaptation of 'The Revenge of Don Mendo' for the Cuyás Theater.
For José Carlos Campos, who will be in charge of giving life to Don Mendo, this production is "a great joy because it means returning to work in the theater made in the Canary Islands" after four years in which he has been linked, among others, to productions national as 'Cabaret', which took him on tour throughout Spain. "Don Mendo is the paradigm of the gentleman", says Fields of the personage on which this choral work turns "of entanglements, disloyalties and revenges".
"The interpretative key of this classic written in verse is that the difficult thing has to look easy", assures for its part the actor Víctor Formoso "We must master the gravel, written with such ingenuity by Muñoz Seca and, at the same time, be able to 'break it' so that the actor is not just a mere transmitter of the text but a creative actor who gives a renewed interpretation to the classic. Of course you have to have intuition, "he continues explaining," because Don Mendo is a comedy with capital letters endowed with a succession of entanglements in which he dies to the prompter, a prank that needs to be spun very fine in the rehearsals so that the spectators do not lose one iota of the plot and above all laugh ".
To the difficulty for the performers is to refine their interventions in scenes where up to a dozen characters meet, the version that Clapso prepares for 'The revenge of Don Mendo' is added the handicap that it is a musical adaptation where, to compose the lyrics of the songs, the fact that the original text is written in verse will be taken advantage of, a work that is carried out by the musician Germán G. Arias.
New image for a classic
The version of 'The Revenge of Don Mendo' premieres Clapso Producciones on May 16 at the Cuyás Theater in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will offer a set design and costumes inspired by the Spanish card deck. The costumes of the interpreters are being designed by Unai Tellería, a regular contributor to the scenic proposals of the Canarian production company.
The attractive promotional image of the show, likewise, is a design by graphic creator Adae Santana, also inspired by the Spanish deck.
The libretto of the work of Pedro Muñoz Seca is based on the idyll between Don Mendo and Magdalena. The father of the young woman, ignorant of this situation, gives her daughter's hand to the Duke of Toro. Don Mendo promises his beloved that he will not betray her, and she takes advantage of such an oath to prevent the discovery of her dishonor. When the protagonist realizes that Magdalena has managed to trick him into facilitating the way to the brilliance of the court, he swears revenge on her, but he does not know how to do it without missing his first promise. After a while, both characters meet again: the young woman is already married to Toro and maintains an idyll with the King; Don Mendo has survived by posing as a troubadour named Renato.
As much Azofaifa, one of the companions of Renato, as the Queen and Magdalena, that do not know the true identity of the troubadour, fall in love with him. But Don Mendo still wants to take revenge on his former lover. In addition, the girl's father and husband discover their love tricks and decide to restore their honor by murdering her. Azofaifa, corroded by jealousy, also plans to kill her. Amidst the confusion created by the amorous and vengeful moves, Azofaifa manages to assassinate Magdalena. Don Mendo, seeing that he will not be able to carry out his revenge, commits suicide.
For the actress Lili Quintana, another of the protagonists of this musical and with extensive experience in classics such as 'Wise Women', 'El Perro del Hortelano' or 'Don Juan Tenorio', "working the verse is one of the things I like the most. I love it, "he says before recognizing that this" another challenge, again with Clapso, with Israel Reyes, under the musical direction of Germán Arias and with classmates with whom I have fun, my work is a luxury, especially when I can address This classic of literature that, in addition, we released the day of my birthday, what more can you ask for! ", concludes.