The Mérida International Classical Theatre Festival opened its fourth extension in 2017 in the Roman city of Cáparra, the first venue for this event in the province of Cáceres. This extension was added to those already located in Medellín, Regina and Madrid.
Just a few kilometres from the town of Plasencia in the municipality of Oliva lies the captivating Cáparra site. It’s a city which, under the rule of Rome, would become an important hub of communications on the north-south axis between Augusta Emerita (Mérida) and Asturica Augusta (Astorga) forming the Vía de la Plata. This strategic location assured a preferential place among the Roman municipalities of Lusitania, boosting its development and gradual monumentalisation still proven by all the archaeological remains.
Fully walled, Cáparra had three entrance gates situated to the southeast, east and west respectively. Two were main roads which created the backbone for the city: the cardo and decumanus. In the centre of the site is the Arch of Cáparra, the city’s undisputed symbol, next to which the stage will be located where the different scheduled theatrical productions listed below will be performed.
8th August 2019
Hippolytus is a contemporary classic, a reading of which is radically interesting in modern times. The confrontation between the love Phaedra feels for Hippolytus leads her to suicide, pushed by Hippolytus’s intolerance and what people might say. The defeat of a woman embarrassed for loving versus the intolerance of a man who’s known to say about women, “I wish you’d all die”, clearly expresses the battle between men and women where women are always fighting at a disadvantage. Common sense is brought in by the nursemaid, a woman who represents unconditional love and reflects the exact opposite of all the goddesses who are much less concerned about the happiness of their children than the dispute between them to prove who is more powerful. In this version, all the tragic burden falls on Phaedra. She can’t not love Hippolytus.
Version: Isidro Timón and Emilio del Valle.
Cast: Juan Díaz, Camila Almeda, José A. Lucía, Cristina Gallego, Mamen Godoy, Amelia David, Rubén Lanchazo, Javier Uriarte, Raquel Bravo, Sara Jiménez, Estefanía Ramírez, Guadalupe Fernández, Álvaro Rodríguez, Fernanda Valdés.
Direction: Emilio del Valle.
9th August 2019
Aeschylus – The Birth and Death of Tragedy
The Rafael Álvarez “El Brujo” Company
Many years ago, I read the definition of Classical Art offered by a great Hellenist scholar whose name I no longer recall: “Classical work (he said) is when there’s nothing remaining of the effort involved in the creative process”. So, I thought, only a sunset, an eagle’s majestic flight in a limitless sky or the dancing of the stars in the universe can be classical. In short, something that’s always inaccessible to mortal artists.
This show is a Spanish comic’s take on Greek tragedy – a comic that has lived and continues to live just to make his audiences constantly laugh. No idea what the result will be, but for now… total happiness. Please enjoy.
Rafael Álvarez aka “El Brujo” (The Wizard)
Version: Rafael Álvarez aka “El Brujo” (The Wizard)
Cast: Rafael Álvarez aka “El Brujo” (The Wizard)
10th August 2019
La loca, loca historia de Ben-Hur (The Crazy, Crazy Story of Ben-Hur)
By Lewis Wallace
Nancho Novo and Yllana join forces to create an insane, wild and really fun version of Ben-Hur, inspired by the mythical 1959 film. With a fast pace and visual ingenuity they’ve defined as TEATROMASCOPE (theatremascope), the staging allows them to bring such an epic story to today’s audiences without losing an iota of grandeur thanks to a constant play between cinematic and theatrical language.
La loca, loca historia de Ben-Hur is full of ingenuous visual gags, sarcastic and absurd dialogues and an interesting reflection of the truth, love and the gender battle. Four actors and two actresses in a state of grace bring a number of characters to life to once again tell what nobody dared tell about Ben-Hur and, this time, uninhibited. Because, in this story, things aren’t what they seem. Better said, in this story, things are what they seem…
Version: Nancho Novo.
Cast: Víctor Massán, Fael García, Agustín Jiménez, Richard Collins-Moore, Elena Lombao, María Lanau.
Artistic direction: David Ottone and Juan Ramos Toro.
11th August 2019
By Florián Recio
Rome names Viriathus amicus populi romani as a reward for the mercy the Lusitanian leader demonstrated upon pardoning General Servilianus and his men from death. A period of peace begins for Viriathus and his people. But Caepio, the new consul, is not willing to consent to a barbarian bursting with pride at having forced Rome to sign a treaty. With the Senate’s connivance, he breaks this peace treaty. Viriathus becomes a symbol for Rome’s enemy tribes and Caepio tries to demonstrate that there is no symbol strong enough Rome can’t break, even if by treason…
Cast: Fernando Ramos, Ana García, Pedro Montero, Manuel Menárguez, David Gutiérrez, Jesús Manchón, Juan Carlos Tirado, Paca Velardiez, José F. Ramos.
Direction: Paco Carrillo.