The penultimate premiere of the 66th edition of the International Classical Theater Festival of Mérida, «Cayo Caesar», Will show the most despotic and cruel facet of the third Roman emperor, known as Caligula, but also his “more human” side, as a “victim” of his past and his own actions.
This one-act drama, which can be seen at the Roman Theater from August 12 to 16, is written by Agustin Muñoz Sanz and directed by Jesus Manchón. It is a co-production of the Mérida Festival and the Extremadura producer Atakama Creatividad Cultural.
Juan Carlos Tirado leads a cast of 12 interpreters in a “distinctly Extremaduran” work that delves into the emperor’s best-known public stage, his almost five years of government, through a dynamic show -theatre, dance and live music- presented with “an envelope sober and elegant ».
In the presentation of the play, Agustín Muñoz, who already presented his theatrical text “Marco Aurelio” at the Mérida Festival in 2016, indicated that Calígula represents the “antithesis” to the “ethical behavior” of the former, as he is a character ” dangerous ”which, in his opinion, was not“ crazy ”, he simply“ did not empathize with anything, he was drunk with power and did what he wanted ”.
Thus, the work invites viewers not to lose the perspective that, today, the world is “run by people who are the incarnation of Caligula” and has warned that “to govern a country run by psychopathy it is something extremely dangerous ».
And it has affected the harmfulness of the abuse of power: “When we decide to give a vote, we cannot give it to just anyone,” the doctor and writer added.
This “so intelligent” text by Muñoz was a real “gift” for Jesús Manchón, who makes his directing debut at this festival with the montage that he always “dreamed” of doing in Mérida, carried out from the “most absolute honesty”, and in the that the different artistic disciplines merge.
The actors, he stressed, continued to give him “gifts” in the form of “loyalty, fidelity and trust”, despite taking them out of their “comfort zone”, and in a very difficult context, because at “the usual 40 degrees of this earth, they added a mask or a screen.
The actor from Mérida Juan Carlos Tirado, who plays Cayo César, has valued that “fear” has not won the battle against culture and this festival is held, since “if things are done with criteria, rigor and professionalism”, they are “doable.”
In his speech, he reflected that, at a time like the present, we also need “trackers of another type of virus, the virus of hatred, which corners people, who hates who is or thinks differently.”
“We all need to become trackers to be able to isolate this virus, the Cayo Caesar, who, camouflaged, are still around,” said Tirado.
It will give life to a tyrant Caligula, executor of numerous vileities, but whose most human side will also be shown, as a person who “suffers”, a victim of the events that marked his childhood and youth, where he “sucked hatred”, and of their own actions.
The choreography is provided by Gema Ortiz who, in his speech, has delved into the need for love, and not hatred, to move actions, and on the importance of “leaving the culture of complaint” to “celebrate life” because time is limited”.
For Atakama Creatividad Cultural celebrating its 18 years on the stage of the Roman Theater is an «honor», according to the executive producer Francisco Palomino, for which all «have left their skin» in a work that also reveals in other characters «many sources of tyranny “that perhaps go more unnoticed.
Tirado is accompanied by a wide cast of actors: Rocío Montero (Drusila), Miguel Ángel Latorre (Macro), Gema Ortiz (Incitato), Fernando Ramos (Casio Querea), Manuel Menárguez (Ptolomeo), Javier Herrera (Filón), Juan Carlos Castillejo (Varo), Paca Velardiez (Milonia Cesonia), Sergio Barquilla (Fabio Nasón), Beatriz Solís (Calpurnia Piso) and Abraham Samino (Pianist).
The scenography, consisting of a throne, modules, practicable steps, little trees and a piano, has been designed by Miguel Ángel Castro “Mikelo”, the lighting by Francisco Cordero and the costumes, with classic lines, designed by Eva León.
The show will be fully accessible to people with sensory functional diversity, according to the festival director, Jesús Cimarro.