The 45th ElEjido Theater Festival keeps trying to make the public laugh, and this time it succeeds with the staging of the comedy Mercado de Amor, directed by Marta Torres, and starring Pablo Carbonell.
What does the 'Market of Loves’ propose?
He takes the viewer on a journey to Roman life 2000 years ago. They will find a simple, but effective decoration when they arrive. They will see a simple decoration, but it is very effective for us.
It takes me a while to believe this is Rome. They can sense that they are facing a comedy of embarrassment by looking at the set. Perhaps the reflection they will see during the play is the fact that we have not made much progress in entanglements or comedy because the characters and plots remain the same. Plauto was Arturo Fernandez in his comedy roles from 2000 years ago, which I discovered when I started to study his work.
A work that guarantees laughter
Yes, we took a few important steps to get exactly what the Romans wanted, which was partying. Romans did not have a great appetite or a high level of philosophical taste. These were the Greeks. The civilization we are derived from, which is so used to winning and looting, was ahead. They didn't want to provoke high reflection. What they wanted was to have fun. It was adapted by us, and I believe we gave it a new twist. We are certain that actors who were performing for people standing, eating, and drinking at the time had to use many current jokes, and insert any localisms, so that the public was shocked.
I don't know what's more satisfying than making the audience laugh.
That's what I love the most. People are most beautiful when they have a good time. As someone who is obsessed with beauty, it's a joy to be able make people laugh. Our efforts have been directed in this direction, and even a constant of Plautin's work, the father-son struggle, has been our focus. We have now transferred to father/daughter. To make it funny, our team decided that submission of a slave owner to my character was not permissible. She is very narcissistic and therefore, I am convinced that the slave is in love. We refer to his eagerness to seduce the slave as an alienation.
Mercado de Amores modifies the original plot a little, as father and daughter fight for one person rather than father and son. This is a huge mess.
This is the twist that brings the work into the 21st Century with the empowerment and participation of women. It's the same entanglement, but the comedy situation is stronger.
There are also serious themes and reflections beyond the humor. Although it is Roman in origin, the work already features two independent and successful women. Is it a plea to empower women?
Yes, indeed, that son who confronts the father in reality is a daughter. That she is a skilled merchant, and that the daughter over whom the father and girl compete is a man dressed up as a woman places us in the 21st Century, the century of feminine revolution. The girl claims she doesn't want her father's destiny, that she become a priestess. This puts us in a world that parents don’t have the power to determine the future of their children.
There is also criticism of corruption in politics. These are topics that have not changed over the centuries.
They are not far away from us, but they are nothing. It is true that the same thing happened 2,000 years ago. You suddenly want to do something, and someone tells your that if you do it, they will inform Rome about their corruption. You realize that corruption can be very difficult to eradicate. Everyone must silence those who are infuriating to others to achieve their goals. This is all very well. People will see something very similar to the films by the Marx Brothers and "With Skirts and like crazy" by Billy Wilder. People think it's a hilarious comedy when they go out.
Laughter is the most important thing...
Laughing at characters who are similar to you in romanticism, lust, greed, or any other capital sin is a great way to have fun. It also helps you to see the good in people.
Is it necessary for theaters to have a denunciation component?
The world is imperfect and I believe this is something everyone should know. You should improve what you don't like, whether you have a loudspeaker to speak on or a podium. It's a moral issue. It is not only the theater that has it; journalists and anyone else who can make themselves heard also have it. It's strange that sports doesn't get wet. Perhaps because they don't have to give their opinions, or maybe because of advertising brands.
He is on tour with Los Toreros Muertos and has just published his new book, "The name of the fools IS written everywhere". In September, he will also premiere a film. How do you find the time to do it all?
Because I don't like reality. There is no other explanation. My head is the only thing that separates me from all that happens around the world. My brain starts to haunt me with little goldfish. I don't know what it means to be still. The best way to escape reality is through artistic activity.
What projects will this 2022 bring you?
-I should write my novel soon. I have a lot of ideas in my head. July 12th marks the seventh anniversary the death of Javier Krahe, the singer-songwriter. Since no one claims his legacy, I will lock myself in the Sala Galileo, where he used to perform almost every month to give recitals. I am not intending to continue, but it is for the joy of thinking about the teacher and friend.