July 29, 2021

Three sad characters

Three sad characters

As Gelsomina would say: «È arrivato Zampanò!». Just as tall, robust, serious and miserable as always, although this time he does it with Mario Gas and not with Fellini, from whom the former wanted to get away -but not much- to stick to the Gerard Vázquez version, Yes, composed from the original script of 1954. In this way, «La Strada» prepares its theatrical performance at the Niemeyer Center of Avilés (tomorrow) before performing in Madrid (Teatro de la Abadía) on the 22nd. A montage in which the director has preferred, as is his custom, to resort to the images of the film that were stored in his retina years ago so as not to "pollute" himself more than those who declare themselves "very fan", Fellini: "I think that since adolescence I have not seen the tape again. I have it deep in my memory, but when I receive an assignment that comes from the cinema or literature, I prefer to step aside and appropriate the version before I get lost revising the original. "

Here were "the dramatic points of interest," he says, those that led him to accept the company.


-That sad story of three characters put in a tremendous situation between them and within a depressed population. They fight with themselves and with the environment to be something, despite the fact that they end up shipwrecked loudly. In the end they are nothing more than the conflicts of three human beings, which is the attraction of telling them to the spectators.

Aroma to «Fede»

From there, an approach "very faithful to the film, but with some difference, has grown. The main one, the mandatory reduction of the cast to three characters: El Loco (Alberto Iglesias), Gelsomina (Verónica Echegui) and Zampanó (Alfonso Lara). «It is that the scenario does not give to welcome the whole universe of Fellini», laughs the actress, «so adaptation is important. Even so, we do find that scent to the Italian director in the scenery and, above all, in the atmosphere: decadent and dreamlike, as if these guys were lost in an eternity in which what happens to them could happen again and again » . Three characters who are on the road during the postwar period and are trapped in lives to which they are condemned by their own character, a tragic destiny that is inevitable. "It can be seen that it was written after the Second World War because of all the desolation it transmits and because of the attitudes of individuals regarding existence," Echegui explains. Each person embodies a different attitude in the face of the existential crisis they suffer, "in which Gelsomina has little room," he continues. The world of El Loco calls him strongly, but he is unknown to him, and, on the other hand, that of Zampanó, in spite of the mistreatment and the coarse treatment that it entails, catches him for being the known thing ». But the great pain of Gesolmina, for the actress, is "the one who can share it, whatever the historical moment it may be, because it constantly asks about death, the meaning of existence, how and when we will know we are going to die. ., which is what makes it such a beautiful role to play ». This is what Gelsomina herself says in the show: "I'm afraid of the night too. Sometimes I want to die. What do I do in this world? We all get old … Who knows how we will die. "

Verónica Echegui gets into the skin of this girl who, under the protection of her mother, has never left home until Zampanó appears to take her-in exchange for 10,000 liras-to write a blank page touring the world and earning the rooms with the street shows. «Dancing and singing», which says the mother of the girl on the tape. "It is innocence and vulnerability in front of an outside world that surpasses it," adds Echegui. A woman committed to tragedy from the minute one of the tape, then, and assembly, now. "She ends up devouring herself for her lack of skill and for the barbarity of the people around her," the director takes the word. He wants to live and breathe, but he can not stand what is around him. It has a very personal connection with reality, could not ration if it is not emotional and goes with a candor for the life that eat it alive, "says a Gas director for the first time to Echegui," despite having controlled since he auditioned for "Homebody / Kabul" in 2007 ».

Little rational, direct and gross

In front you will have the man who opens the door of existence, Zampanó, his abductor. "An unsound man, direct and gross physically and intellectually," explains Mario Gas, who "swallows life as he can to survive. Things get out of hand to become something that is not, but that, however, can be at any time. Situation before which the director tries to defend the character "because, in the end, we are all miserable, life makes us this way and more if we have few lights inside a depressed environment". As a counterpoint to the strongman is El Loco, who does not escape falling into the networks of misfortune. "Everybody does. It is the great story that tells Fellini, a perverse where small characters fight for their survival and that end badly ». This is «La Strada», a crystalline lake in which the bottom can be seen, but in which, by changing our focus, we can find our own fragility.


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