Almagro celebrated as a miracle the celebration of the festival of classical theatre

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To Domingo Serrano –”el Gordo”, as he was known all over the world, we would have liked to see the Tuesday night appearance of the plaza mayor of Almagro, in which is located the bar she owned. “The Fat man” died a few weeks ago; it was one of the most popular characters of this locality, which for many years becomes a giant stage on which actors, technicians and performers blend in with the landscape. “Almagro, in summer, lives of the theatre”, says Miguel, one of the almagreños that, as every summer by these dates, works for the Festival of Classical Theatre. “And being able to celebrate this year is a miracle”, he concludes.

The responsible for this miracle is called Ignacio Garcia; from three years ago, directs the festival and even in the harshest moments of his confinement, when misty was on the horizon and more black forecasts about the pandemic, he claimed to whom I would like to ask that, yes, the festival would be held. I didn’t know how, but he was convinced that it would take place.

The time has given him the reason; and thanks to the efforts of his team and the support of the Board of trustees of the festival, two weeks after the regular date of opening of the event manchego (usually starts on the first day of the month of July) has been put in place. Joaquin Notary, one of the veterans of the National Classical Theatre Company, and customary in Almagro, admired. “We’re here!”, exclaimed.

We are here, say the people of the theatre. We are here, say the inhabitants of Almagro. And is that, even though they have replaced the masks of the art of Talía by the masks, this city breathes theatre. Ignacio García and his team have had to produce twenty versions of the festival up to this final that kicked off, as always, with the delivery of the prize Corral of Comedies, which this year was awarded to Ana Belén. Have been reduced to four performance spaces –theatre, Palace of Oviedo, Teatro Adolfo Marsillach (the former Hospital de San Juan) and Old University Renaissance (AUREA)– and the capacity is only fifty percent. It has had to do without, for obvious reasons, the foreign companies, and the competition Baroque Child will be offered online.

The protocols of safety and health are strict. Masks mandatory –even in the three theatres, open– air; hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance of the shows and out of the public staggered to avoid crowding. It misses the hustle and bustle of the Plaza mayor, which on the opening day was full of public and ran around the gate of the Corral to see the parade of authorities, to abarrotarse after during the show popular you used to offer the festival.

First show

Even so, it has lifted the curtain, and the first show that has been filed bearing the signature of the Classic National Theatre Company, spine –and soul– of the festival of la mancha and which is present in Almagro with four shows. In one of them, “Soul and word”, will have its director, Lluís Homar; it is a show based on texts by Saint John Of the Cross directed by José Carlos Plaza and which also involved Adriana Ozores.

“In another kingdom strange” is the title of the show that has opened the Festival of Almagro. It is of a piece with playwright Luis Sorolla and address of David Boceta and interpreted by the fifth promotion of the Young National Company of Classic Theatre. Lope de Vega and love are the core of the show, marked, and almost would say that is generated by the confinement. Conversations over the Zoom of the actors reflecting on the love dialogues between themselves by interleaving the verses of Lope de Vega with his own considerations about what the Phoenix of the Wits called a “abyss only”, they combine with the music, the dance and the audiovisual; bring to Lope de Vega to the rap, the rock or ballad earliest only makes sense in a young company such as this, and in a moment like this (love scenes conclude with a kiss only counted through a sign projected on the scenery: “kiss”). Freshness and youth are the two main features of this show, lightweight in the best sense of the word, and that is a way of approaching the classical texts, even if it is in a way tangential and an accomplice.

here the 26th of July, Almagro will offer forty and four representations of twenty-six companies. In the absence of a guest country –iuna constant in the festival–i, there will be a Community guest: Valencia, in this case. Last night, the programming continued with “Cefalo and Pocris”, by Calderón, in charge of Theatre of the Pedestal; “Magellan, the infinite journey,” a fictional sound of the RADIO played in the Corral de Comedias by Roberto Alamo and Joaquin Notary, accompanied by Juan Megías, Feature Martín, Juan Suárez, César Gil, Miguel Valiente, Jon Road, Pablo Ibáñez, Pedro Muñoz, Ricardo Peralta, Julio Valverde and Alfonso Latorre; and “The gentleman ghost”, also of Calderon, by the company, 2RC Teatro.

The theater was spread throughout the town like ivy; in addition to the functions, courses, workshops, and exhibitions fill with Almagro these days. In the Space of Contemporary Art you can see “A feast of the senses. Auto Sacramental Calderonianos”, directed and curated by Beatriz Patiño Lara and José Manuel Montero García. The Patio de Fúcares hosts the installation “the dream. From idea to project”, created to celebrate the 500 years of the first round-the-world; and in AUREA will present a selection of illustrations by Manuel Boix on “Tirant lo Blanc”. And finally, in the National Theatre Museum can be seen until the end of the month a true gem created by one of the great masters of the theatrical lighting Juan Gómez Cornejo. “Lighting for Pandur, fragments of the soul” is an installation in which, in a small cube, are shown photographs of the productions in which Gómez Cornejo worked with the slovenian director Tomaz Pandur, and that it is a paragon of sensitivity and good taste.