The youth lost in the theater of World War I | Culture

The youth lost in the theater of World War I | Culture



"In the end, wars are only made by young people. We lose them so that they can win them. " The lament is part of a French boy, but it could have come out of some German's mouth. On one side and on the other, in the mud of the trenches, feelings are shared. The hell of ice and death suffered by thousands of young Europeans, in the early years of the twentieth century, without knowing the horror they were facing, these days live in the black room of the Teatros del Canal, Madrid. The Young Company dives with Mud on the front of the First World War to relate the endless months of pain and hate of five young men, two Germans and three French, in a massive fight in which they shot without seeing the enemy. First work of the tetralogy Map of the ruins of Europe, Mud, written four hands by Guillem Clua and Nando López, and directed by José Luis Arellano, is represented from Thursday until December 23. Víctor de la Fuente, Jose Cobertera, Álvaro Quintana, Jota Haya, Alejandro Chaparro, Samy Khalil and Mateo Rubinstein star in this feature with María Romero, Cristina Varona and María Valero.

The forcefulness and coldness of the scenery, five large metal fans and an aluminum panel, as a map of Europe, contrasts with the humanity and the realism of the characters that shed in front of the audience their initial illusions, also their doubts, and the atrocious discouragement that life on the front was carrying them. The same shared scenario for the mud of the trenches, the field hospital, the hidden loves, the luminous night or the harrowing confessions of those soldiers in the letters sent to their parents or grandparents. After the first rehearsal in the black room of the Canal, José Luis Arellano explain what Mud arises from the reflection installed in the Young Company, which with this work signs its thirteenth production in six seasons, about who we are, where our fears come from and the prevailing ideologies in Europe, in a collective work, which brought together the playwrights, directors of scene and the actors of the company. "In this first work of the tetralogy we wanted to speak, through the First World War, of the degradation of the morality of individuals and the creation of the first currents of thought, the birth of Nazism, the rise of nationalisms, the populisms or radicalisms, "says Arellano, for whom the text of Nando López Y Guillem Clua It is an intimate work on how European society is. "An intellectual society, creator of ideas, but also of hatred, in which the drama of two world wars has been lived but also of the abolition of the borders, although all this seems to falter with the arrival of the Brexit and the rise of the nationalism, "laments the stage director.

Education tool

Six seasons, thirteen productions and more than 200,000 spectators since its birth in 2012, have made The Young Company one of the most interesting theatrical proposals aimed at students and young people. The morning functions that are organized with the institutes are full to overflowing and with the tickets sold months in advance. "The theater thus becomes the best tool for education in values," says David R. Peralto, project director.

There are three productions that the company has prepared this year. In addition to Mud, will be released in March, also at the Teatros del Canal, Federico to Lorca, a work written from texts by the Granada poet and directed by Miguel del Arco. 8,000 of the 10,000 available tickets are already reserved for this function. The other assembly will arrive at the Centro Conde Duque in April. Is about Gazoline, a work starring six black performers, all of them born in Spain.

Nando López and Guillem Clua, two playwrights closely linked to La Joven Compañía, are also witnesses to this first rehearsal of the work, in which they set out to tear down their author's borders to narrate how youth was the first victim of this first world conflict , how these student soldiers were manipulated and used as live weapons. "The first thing we agreed on was the focus that history had, which was to tell a great war through the eyes of these five soldiers of both sides, without manichaeism, and focusing on telling the story. truth about what this conflict meant to them ", explains Clua, who adds that, although it is a fiction story, the work is well documented with letters, press articles and epistolary literature.

"We wanted to make an intimate function, away from the great historical fact and focusing on the experience of the characters, as the ideas of these guys are evolving as the conflict evolves and also check the evolution of the different countries involved. We see the beginning of the rise of fascism in Germany, compared to other more pacifist and pro-European ideas, and we witness the cultivation of World War II, "adds López. Without forgetting that also in the horror of day to day, there is room for poetry. "We were very clear that the poetic tone could not be lacking in this work, because culture is part of what defines Europe, our great link."

And so, in the midst of suffering and hatred – "the more we suffer the more our hatred grows" – and splashing through the disgusting mud, the voice of a French student is heard, which could also have been that of a German. "I am as much a son of Balzac as of Goethe?"

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