Buenos Aires Times

culture THEATRE GUIDE

Five first-rate plays to catch in local theatres right now before they close

Here's a selection of some the finest offerings on show in Buenos Aires right now, which illustrate the very best the local theatre scene has to offer.

Tuesday 20 November, 2018
There are some brilliant offerings in local theatres at the moment. Here's a selection of five of the finest you should consider catching before they close.
There are some brilliant offerings in local theatres at the moment. Here's a selection of five of the finest you should consider catching before they close. Foto:TIMES

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There are some brilliant offerings in local theatres at the moment. Here's a selection of five of the finest you should consider catching before they close.

Ojalá las paredes gritaran

This is probably the best play I have seen this year and perhaps the most faithful version of Hamlet that has ever been performed. Straying away from classical conventions its director, Paola Lusardi, fills the stage with a tremendously original mise-en-scène that somehow stays true to its forebearer. From the very first moment, you can tell you are in for an unforgettable night: instead of an ordinary theatre, spectators are welcomed into a modern house in Colegiales where Claudio is ready to offer finger food, while another character pours some wine. 

When Hamlet appears on stage, he is a skinny adolescent. A troubled, anxious, lascivious young man who finds it impossible to silence the echoes in his own head. His body suffers the consequences of such disturbed soul: he won’t be quiet, he goes from one part of the house to the other, jumps from the staircase and threatens his mother, a woman whose anguish seems to be drowned in a glass of wine. Ophelia barely talks, her innocent angel face and confused look remind the audience that there is something shattered within her. Claudio speaks but from behind, he is in control – but not for too long.

The characterisation on show here is superb. This is far more than a simple adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, it is a deep and real reinterpretation of the play. The famous English playwright wrote about human passions and there is no grater way to praise his literary creation than to regard these characters as human beings, instead of perfect orators.

The good news is that Ojalá las paredes gritaran has been selected for FIBA. 2019. Entirely unique.

Until December 1, Saturdays 9pm. Sundays 2pm. Bookings: ojalalasparedesgritaran@gmail.com; Cast: Julián Ponce Campos, Antonella Querzoli, Martín Gallo, Augusto Ghirardelli, Mariana Mayoraz, Santiago Cortina; Director: Paola Lusardi; Playwright: William Shakespeare.

Brillanteens

With a combination of Juan Martín Zubiri, Julieta Otero and Juan Faerman on stage, nothing can go wrong. If you want to laugh for 50 minutes non-stop, then you surely have to watch Brillanteens.

Born with an innate talent for comedy, Juan Martín Zubiri takes us though the life of a singer who is now forced to face oblivion and solitude. This is the story of Marteen, a young man whose musical career has come to an end, dragging his self-esteem and ego down with it. The play, whose underlying themes highlight the severe conditions artists face when their art isn’t useful to the market any more, uses diverse techniques to allow the singer to expel all his sorrows and regrets. By recreating what his life used to be like – through interviews, playbacks and choreographies, spectators peep through the cracks of a devastated and long-forgotten pop star.

With a comical tone, the play explores the relationship between self-identity and society. Individuals often define themselves in connection with the role they play in it. But who are we become when we are no longer who we used to be? Can our egos rule our lives? Without lapsing into an obvious moralising lessons, the play ends up offering our artists a compassionate and sympathetic tone. A hilarious and unmissable show.

Until November 24, Saturdays, 11.15pm. El Metodo Kairos Teatro. More information at: www.elmetodokairos.com.ar

Kinderbuch

Belén Blanco does not need much of an introduction. Actress, director and producer, she is one of the most prominent performers of her generation. She is well remembered for her role in Querido Ibsen: Soy Nora, the show by Griselda Gambaro which she performed in 2013 and 2014. This year finds her onstage agin, as usual, in a highly intruiging theatrical piece: Kinderbuch. Director Diego Manso, inspired in Hedda Gabler by Ibsen, gives life to a savage and intense pregnant lady, wonderfully performed by Belén Blanco.

This is a woman in a deplorable state who, filled with resentment and hatred, confesses her most abominable thoughts. Ranging against an ignorant society, she cries over the role she and all women are forced to assume. Set in a dystopic society, the wives of government employees are confined in an isolated place, “protected” from the insurgency of the wild world. However, far from feeling safe, she feels trapped not only in her room, but also in her thoughts, giving free rein to pondering over a series of past events she is now finally ready to recall. The only apparent useful activity she has learned so far is target-shooting, and she will practise it until exhaustion.

Belén Blanco plays this role masterfully, allowing the spectator to understand the origin of such violent verbosity. The actress, whose overly long monologues do not appear to be a challenge at all, vividly evokes multiple layers of interpretation. The piece is full of  nods to xenophobia, feminism, oppression, violence and vacuity… especially the vacuity of a life without redemption. A ferocious monologue in which life seems to bleed. 

Until November 30, Fridays 10.30pm. El Camarín de las Musas (Mario Bravo 960). Cast: Belén Blanco. Playwright & Director: Diego Manzo.

La Respiración

This is one of those plays which remind you of the beauty and simplicity of dramatic art. Spectators leave Timbre 4 completely changed by the performance they have just watched, with smiles on their faces that suggest that not only has it left them thinking about their lives but also, that it has made them happy. Lautaro Perroti has succeeded in finding a dynamic, hooky and sensitive way of dealing with delicate topics such as the burden of everyday life.

The team onstage appears to have clearly discovered what an Argentine audience needs these days: a consistent plot, truthful actors and good direction. Perroti hails unpretentiousness when it comes to representing daily matters on stage, it is precisely his masterful, experienced touch which renders such a piece, such a warm and lovable proposal. In a humorous tone, actors will open up on their misery to share them with the audience before them, with the clear aim of alleviating pain and giving grief a break.

Even though all the actors are perfect in their roles, is imperative to highlight Julieta Vallina and Maria Fiorentino’s capacity to transmit such different feelings, spreading a wide range of emotional shades to the audience, all the while adding comedic tones that let the play flow organically.

This is the story of a woman who, hidden in pain and desperation, tries to pave a new way toward happiness. A realistic and honest play. Not to be missed!

Until November 25, Fridays 8pm, Sundays 5pm. Timbre 4 (Avenida Boedo 640). Cast: Julieta Vallina, María Fiorentino, Mario Bodega, María de Pablo, Juan Guilera, Federico Liss. Playwright: Alfredo Sanzol, Director: Lautaro Perrotti.

Enobarbo

Osqui Guzmán never disappoints. And Enobarbo is the perfect opportunity to see him on- and off-stage, as he plays a leading role, while directing the play at the same time. With the aim of praising his deceased friend, Alejandro Acobino, Guzman puts onstage an engaging and meticulously directed based on the life of Nero. The text was recovered from the verge of extinction. But luckily, it arrived safely in the hands of Osqui Guzman.

The play takes place in ancient Rome, during the last hours of Nero's life, an emperor with artistic caprices. The play’s underlying message is the relationship between power and culture. Osqui Guzman is perfect in the role of Atticus, the slave who served Seneca until he became influential enough to become the right hand of the emperor. Guzman’s invaluable skill is deciding to portray life in Roman times by departing from all historically conventional stereotypes: these are characters who feel too much, and they do not seem to find the correct proportions in order to handle their desires.

Enobarbo takes Roman passions to the extreme and depicts them perfectly well through the acting, carefully crafted clothing and the massive and extraordinary scenography on show. All the actors are compellingly persuasive in their roles; however, Pablo Fusco as Nero gives an extremely assured performance, in which not even one small movement is left to chance. It is the kind of play for which you cannot stop applauding. Highly recommended.

Until December 15, Thursdays to Sundays 9pm. Teatro Cervantes (Libertad 815). Cast:  Manuel Fanego, Pablo Fusco, Leticia González de Lellis, Osqui Guzmán, Javier Lorenzo, Fernando Migueles, Pablo Seijo. Playwright: Alejandro Acobino. Director: Osqui Guzmán.

By MARÍA AGUSTINA PARDINI for the Times

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