Madrid’s Theatre Takes Inspiration From the Greeks

Delgado, Maria M. (2017) Madrid’s Theatre Takes Inspiration From the Greeks. European Stages, 10 (1). ISSN 1050-199X


There has been something in Madrid’s theatre that has seen a return to the spirit of the Greeks: plays inspired by or adapted from classical tragedies that ask fundamental questions about what democracy means and how it functions. At a time when Spain’s right-wing government appears increasingly besieged, with a fractured left and a referendum on independence scheduled in Catalonia, theatre has offered a space in which to discuss issues of identity, self, and other. An exciting new initiative at the Pavón Teatro has sought to address issues of community, providing a stronger infrastructure for the generation and production of new writing. Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched has returned for a third spell at the Abadía theatre, where over 60,000 spectators have already seen Mario Gas’s production, with Nuria Espert in a key role at the age of 82. It’s still too early to see whether the reduction of value added tax (VAT) on theatre tickets from 21% to 10% introduced this summer will boost attendance, but all the performances reviewed below had buoyant if not full houses on the evenings I saw the shows; theatre still matters in Spain’s theatrical capital.


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