Teatro Español y Naves del Español

¿Que no...?

by Antonio Fernández Ferrer, Christian Boyer and Jesús Cracio based on 'Exercises in Style' by Raymond Queneau
Cartela ¿Que no...?
October 22
November 21, 2021
Tuesday to Sunday / 7pm
70 min
Post-show talk

Raymond Queneau (1903-1976), the French writer, poet, mathematician and novelist, a founding member of the Surrealist movement, co-founder of OULIPO (Workshop of Potential Literature) and member of the College of Pataphysics, was one of the most important and prolific artists of the frenzied and transgressive Paris of the mid-twentieth century. It is no easy task to find such intriguing writers in our cultural sphere.

After attending a performance of J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Queneau thought it would be very interesting and indeed fascinating to create something similar but transferred to the literary plane. Ejercicios de Estilo is a veritable manifesto against the traditional separation between literary theory and the practice of writing. Based on the construction of 99 variations on the anecdote that serves as a starting point, this surprising text emerges, combining wit, irony and rhetorical wisdom.

 Once this arduous and atypical work had been carried out over several years, the book fell into my hands by pure chance and I was inspired to adapt it for the stage: the construction of a theatrical montage by means of variations that proliferate (to infinity if you wish) around and on the basis of an absolutely insignificant and trivial theme. An exercise in funambulism.

Building on the basic theme, Notaciones, different narrative and interpretative forms of the same event follow one after the other without interruption. The wide panoply of the disturbing vision of the communicative human comedy. All this accompanied and seasoned (in an attempt to remain as faithful as possible to Queneau) by J. S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, interpreted in a variety of versions ranging from classical symphonic to rock and roll and even jazz.

A stage with only a few elements on which 8 performers will embody 34 characters, conferring a fundamental meaning to the treatment of light and its dramatic expressiveness in order to create environments and frames that the nudity of the production demands. Theatre full of risk and adventure.

Who among us has never heard lots of different versions of one and the same event depending on the teller?

Jesús Cracio

Cast and Creative Team

Directed by: Jesús Cracio

Adapted by: Antonio Fernández Ferrer, Christian Boyer and Jesús Cracio based on Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

With Javier Ballesteros, Nur Levi, Rosa Martí, Arturo Martínez Vázquez, Paloma de Pablo, Fernando Sainz de la Maza, Claudia Salas and Álex Villazán

Voice-off: Ramón Langa

Set design: Pablo Menor Palomo

Lighting design: Pilar Velasco (AAI)

Costume design: Beatriz Robledo

Sound design: Iñaki Ruiz Maeso

Choreography: Marta Gómez

Assistant director: Pablo Martínez Bravo

Assistant director in residence at the Teatro Español: Íñigo Santacana 

A production of Teatro Español and SEDA

Teatro Accesible

Audio description

Magnetic loop

Subtitling for the deaf

Amplified sound

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