Teatro Español y Naves del Español
Living Arts International Gathering Africa Moment'21 celebrates this year its 5th edition in the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, an unprecedented edition with a double itinerary, which presents proposals of great innovation and artistic quality by leading figures on the...
In Esta Noche se Improvisa la Comedia, Pirandello continues his meta-theatrical investigation that began with Seis Personajes en Busca de Autor and Cada Cual a su Manera. On this occasion, a peculiar and charismatic stage director, Doctor Hinkfuss, forces the company’s actors to improvise a series of scenes written by Pirandello himself; through this resource he hopes to achieve a symbiosis between the artistic form (the written text) and the flow of life. His work is therefore this confrontation between two antagonistic instances. As is only to be expected, the invention gets out of hand, generating multiple situations of wild and delirious comedy. The text, on the other hand, as well as offering a fast-paced theatrical divertimento, touches on some of the Italian playwright's pet themes: the relationship between mask and identity, life as a reflection of art, relativism and truth, reality and appearance...
But above all, as we say, the work is a glowing tribute to and vindication of the theatrical act: that trompe l’oeil that refutes any stable and immutable definition of reality. Theatre is movement, unpredictability, provisional processes, but the artistic work - in this case the literary text - always has something of a fixed photo; an unsuccessful desire to fix, to apprehend and sublimate life itself. It is in this contradiction that this farce unfolds, with a plot that harks back to the Commedia All'improviso of the old Commedia dell Arte. Hinkfuss, the stage director, wants to strike a compromise between these two dimensions but, inevitably, he makes a mess of things. Life literally slips away from him, off the stage. The paradox lies in the fact that the more life is produced, the less of the play remains. Perhaps our existence is nothing more than a confused improvisation that, as actors, we perform with changeable conviction, characters, after all, who need an author to lend meaning to our disjointed and tragicomic performance.
Our version, then, enthusiastically abandons itself to the confusing ceremony of planes posed by the comedy, while at the same time highlighting the fact that we live in a “reality” that has ceased to be surprised by the Italian author’s philosophical paradoxes; a society that has become so familiar with Dr. Hinkfuss’ experiment that it perceives the permanent carousel of characters that we project in both the public and private spheres as something quite natural; just as the narcotic combination of fiction and reality that entertains us day after day, while at the same time distancing us from the possibility of actually discerning between the factual and its interpretation, is also seen as something quite natural. Because half-truths are always more misleading.
Even so, it is still possible and indeed necessary to once again recognise the facts as they are, for which it is advisable to keep the realms of invention and reality well apart and well reconciled. And the theatre, a poetic simulacrum, once again shows us the path of discernment between the dreams of fiction and the monsters it produces. The theatre, the only dream that makes us wake up.
By: Luigi Pirandello
Version and direction: Ernesto Caballero
Cast: Felipe Ansola, Jorge Basanta, Natalia Hernández, Joaquín Notario, Paco Ochoa, Ana Ruiz and Ainhoa Santamaría
Scene design: Monica Boromello
Lighting design: Paco Ariza
Costume design: Beatriz Robledo
Assistant directors: Pablo Quijano and Miguel Agramonte
A co-production between Lantia Escénica and Teatro Español
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