Inside the spiral of cruelty
five actresses besieged by chaos rehearsing one of the most disturbing dramas of
shakespeare. A classic text renewed by the brilliant Uruguayan playwright
Gabriel Calderon. A director who still investigates the interpretive processes... Stage production
'tamora', inspired by the free version of the Shakespearean play that constitutes a revenge tragedy,
'Titus Andronicus', is tested in the warehouse that the company Islavisión has in the La Cazuela industrial estate.
After eight in the morning, the actresses
Andrea Zoghbi, Yanara Moreno, Maria Filomena Martignetti, Saray Castro and Rosa Escrig they drink coffee in an improvised 'office' installed in the back area of the space where the technical production team has set up a
metal tubular quadrilateralwhose center presides over a revolving piece around which the scenes of the new montage of
An hour less, which co-produces
Auditorium and Theater Foundation of Las Palmas de Gran Canariawith the sponsorship of the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, within the framework of the project called 'Second Reading'.
Mario Vegastage director of
'tamora', is preparing to direct one of the preliminary rehearsals that will take place before the premiere scheduled for the days
June 8, 9 and 10 of this montage in which the five actresses will invest 322 hours in the 48 rehearsal sessions that have been scheduled until then.
free version written by Calderón is daring and impressive and allows Vega to insist on an experimental model of work that has been successfully implemented, for example, in the last four productions promoted by Unahoramenos in the two editions of the initiative called 'Laboratorio Galdós': think this work that recounts a
family tragedy through a revenge that is recreated in violence and extreme cruelty as something that is still under construction, using elements such as innovation,
research, risk and active audience interaction.
the actresses (which were selected after a dramaturgy workshop that took place last January) agree that becoming imbued with a work model in which they must create emotional logic based on the director's requests is fascinating, but it is also an
Sarah Castro She points out that both she and her companions “are still working on the search for and definition of their characters. In the open process of rehearsing Calderón's text, which is wonderful, nuances are added and deleted at the director's discretion, a circumstance that excludes us actresses from our comfort zone».
The five protagonists know each other because they have coincided on stage in the cast of some other productions. Castro, who is taking part in Clapso's production 'Malditaslies', has just finished shooting his fourth film,
'Lilith', by Ado Santana, and appears in the new feature of
Armando Ravelo'Once upon a time in the Canary Islands', believes that the montage inspired by Shakespeare's 'Tito Andronico' «
more than violent is shocking and it will force the public to practice a permanent exercise of attention to follow the situations that occur in it». The proper names of the actresses will be those of the characters that each of them will embody, to which will be added others that appear in the original tragedy written by the English playwright in
1593, about to turn thirty.
Rosa Escrig, who works
for the first time with Unahoramenos Produccionesdescribes the rehearsal process for 'Tamora' as «hard and intense, but
very gratifying. The complexity of the process allows us to explore which elements will be part of the future assembly and which will be discarded.
five-hour rehearsal sessions daily the interpretation of the actresses is nurtured and sustained by Vega's gaze, which continuously corrects, encourages and proposes, which generates a positive tension in the sessions.
«When I say hard I mean on a physical and emotional level», Escrig points out, adding «that the very dynamics of the text forces us to be involved in different states of mind. It is curious that in this contemporary version of this Shakespeare the entire cast is female.
We are not five Adelas or five Julietsbut different types of women.
According to Escrig, who this same year was part of the production of 2Rc Teatro, 'La boba para los otros' by Lope de Vega and has just written, produced and premiered his own text
'I killed Kurt Cobain', «being able to work with the production company that is betting the most in the Canary Islands on innovative projects in the field of performing arts is a real luxury and, doing so based on such an original and unique free text prepared by one of the most celebrated playwrights in Latin America, a gift I'm still digesting. This is a
'Titus Andronicus' totally different to which one can find endowed, yes, with the original acid comedy and the dramatic force of Gabriel Calderón. Today we know what will happen, but tomorrow it will be unknown. I don't know how this will end...
Yanara Moreno is the
oldest performer of the cast of 'Tamora', with more than 30 years of professional experience. To her condition as an actress is added that of a director. According to Moreno, her work so far has been «
fascinating and devastating. Every day we introduce new elements in the backpack of knowledge to get home and continue studying our characters, "says Moreno, for whom Calderón has been a happy discovery. «His version of 'Tito Andrónico' is quite daring, since through the vicissitudes that take place within a theatrical company, he develops the profile of the main characters and the hurtful drama that underlies the work» , he adds.
Mario Vega protects us and we assume it as something natural, to later be able to dedicate ourselves as actresses as the text, the montage and this experimental project in general deserve. The scenography requires physical training and total concentration that invites us to extract the juice from each of the situations”, Moreno continues explaining, who also plays Tamora in the play, the Gothic queen held captive by the Roman general Titus Andronicus.
He had previously performed with
Prophets of Furniture Bar, 'Anansi', a play in which she assumed the complex role of the first transsexual woman in Spain who lived as a man around 1543 and married María del Caño y Gasco, and directs and performs the production of the company Entrevías 'Dark Days', a version by Miguel Ángel Martínez of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'. "It's easy for us to get out of one story and into another with the passion it deserves," she stresses.
«Depending on the productions in which you get involved, you want . It does not happen in this montage where we have time to investigate and experiment with our characters or the scene and check the evolution of your companions as the rehearsals go by». This is how Andrea Zoghbi thinks, another of the actresses in this cast who submits without prejudice these days to the maelstrom of the mechanisms of violence and to the extent to which they are distilled in what is considered the most brutal and bloody work of Shakespeare's repertoire.
It is frankly intelligent how Calderón tries in his text to intermingle what happens on the scene with the original essence of 'Titus Andronicus' and how the pieces fit together as the story progresses", reveals Zoghbi, who plays Lavinia, in whom the Roman general places the hope of a future where perhaps can escape the violence that has accompanied him throughout his life.
The work with Mario Vega «is
demanding, but I don't feel judged. It requires us to do a good job, but at the same time it allows us to explore and make mistakes without subjecting ourselves to tensions in search of excellence. All of this is part of the way in which he manages the rehearsal process", explains Zoghbi, for whom this experimental laboratory "of new thinking minds is enriching because it involves many people in the result of a theatrical journey of formidable inventive energy", he adds .
“Although it is a free revision, the violence that underlies the original text has to be reflected in this version in some way.
There are violent scenes and situations in themselves that do not give the public respite. The play can become uncomfortable, but all ambitious, nourishing and true theater always proposes that something happens in the public. I am seduced by the contrast between a certain naturalness and clear reality of many of the scenes and the accumulation of evil and violence that is concentrated in others».
Italian Filomena Martignetti has lived on the island since 2015. The actress, who tours with
'Tesla/Edison' from Angle Productions under the direction of Luis O'Malley, but who previously worked in Madrid for the Centro Dramático Nacional, believes that «the search and investigation process carried out
chorally with the director of 'Tamora' includes the care of any detail, from the looks to the gestures and movements.
We demand each other in concentration and dedication, how could it be otherwise in the face of a challenge of the magnitude to which we have committed ourselves”, he admits.
«The original work is hard and
Mario Vega balances it with the nuances of her gaze and the play of the theatre», advances the actress who in the production assumes the role of the assistant director of the theater company. She highlights "the peculiar and intriguing staging of the production and the details that it contains".
The theater maintains that it provides him with "the possibility of
discover herself; you touch keys that are inside you to be able to communicate emotions, and Mario Vega, in this sense, helps you discover intimate resources and new ways of interpreting. There are times when that restrained way of expressing emotions can be more powerful, more intense on stage».
For Martignetti, Shakespeare is always up-to-date because the battery of universal themes that his theater tackles still continues to sell out box office paper all over the world every time it is performed. «Jealousy, family, hatred, revenge, cruelty, love... Each era and civilization has assumed them differently, but ultimately they are issues that continue to be talked about because they persist in our DNA».
Vega often reminds her actors and actresses not to fall in love with the comfort with which her characters often confuse them. For this reason, it is certain that the show that opens in two months at the Pérez Galdós Coliseum in the capital will not be the same one that is being rehearsed now.
Word of Mario Vega.