Joy. It is the key word in the new programming of the Slaughterhouse Ships (although yesterday it would not be noticed in a too tense presentation). Joy for the return of these magnificent spaces under the protection of the Spanish Theater; joy for the return of the theatrical word to the place from which it was banished three years ago, and which was a majority claim of the sector; joy for the restitution of the names of Max Aub and Fernando Arrabal, respectively, to ships 10 and 11, from which an unexplained decision of the Municipal Government of Manuela Carmena had taken them away. And Joy, with capital letters, because this feeling – “pleasant and alive, which usually manifests itself with external signs”, is defined by the RAE-. It is a leitmotif that Natalia Menéndez, director of the Spanish Theater, wants me to plan on scenarios that, in addition, release a corporate image. «It is time, he says, of dialogues between classics and contemporaries, between reality and fiction, and between the possible and the impossible. We are going to be surprised, to laugh and to cry with the family and with the power relations. We resume a dose of paradise, of joy, of going towards our dreams ».
«Theater, dance, sung and acted humor, musical theater, concerts, café theater, clown, live arts and plastic arts», lists Natalia Menéndez. All these manifestations will have a place in a space that will have four very different scenarios and schedules, with a very clear objective: «to bring together the largest and most varied type of audience possible». The four scenarios are the Max Aub Room, the Fernando Arrabal Room – now divided into two – and the Naves del Español Café, to which other Matadero spaces are added to house not only shows but also workshops and exhibitions.
And is that the project that Natalia Menéndez – and her deputy director, Luis Luque – have for Matadero is not based solely on the exhibition of shows (thirty-three will be presented, with a total of two hundred and sixty-five performances): This new stage, the Spanish Ships will host five projects: Platform, El Vividero, Hand Theater, Senior and Mixed Animals.
In «Platform« assemblies already presented in the Madrid off circuit will be recovered; in this first edition they will be «Prelude», by Daniel Ortiz on the novel by Jesús Ruiz-Mantilla (from May 19 to 24), «Dados», by José Padilla (from May 26 to 31), «La mujer ugliest in the world ”, by Bàrbara Mestanza and Ana Rujas (from June 2 to 7) and“ Generation Why ”, from Teatro en Vilo (from June 9 to 14).
“El Vividero” has as protagonists, explains Natalia Menéndez, to the families. The idea of the director is to propose a continuous family programming «and, for this, this spring starts with very different proposals both in techniques and in ideas or images, which will be accompanied by a workshop». The ones in charge of coordinating the project are Olga Margallo and Itziar Pascual, and there will be five shows: «Only clowns» (May 30 and 31), «The grandfather’s house» (June 6 and 7), «Romeo and Juliet» (June 13 and 14), “Amour” (June 20 and 21) and “We will put a mustache” (June 27 and 28).
The “Theater of the Hand” project aims to “teach and show the artisan and technical part of the theater to the public, that increasingly fragile part that is in danger of disappearing”: trades such as sasteria, costumes, makeup, armory, props, set, lighting or sound. This is a sensory installation entitled «De la mano» artistically directed by Pedro Moreno, the great master of Spanish figurineism.
«The Senior« is an ambitious project that provides for the creation of a professional company of actors older than sixty-five, with which «it seeks to rescue from oblivion the memory of our older actors». The first step of the project unites generations, since it will gather in the exhibition «Against gravity» photographs made by teenagers that reflect May in positive attitudes.
Finally, «Mixed Animals« will present, in the Café Naves del Español, concerts of a series of actors who sing. They will be Raquel Pérez (April 29), El Zurdo (May 6), Verónica Ronda (May 13), Cristina Medina (May 20), Nancho Novo (May 27) and Fran Perea (June 3).
From Genet to the hardware store
The programming of the Ships will start on March 27, World Theater Day, with the show of the choreographer Sharon Fridman «Dose of Paradise» (March 27, 28 and 29). They will continue «With how well we were (Ferretería Esteban)», written and directed by José Troncoso (from April 2 to 19); “Hamnet (Dead Center)”, a work by Brush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd on the text by William Shakespeare (April 1 to 5); «The Maids», by Jean Genet, directed by Luis Luque (from April 15 to May 17); «Alegría Station», a project devised by Natalia Menéndez with Colombian actors Ximena Escobar Mejía and Leonardo Echeverri (from April 24 to May 17); «Love, love, catastrophe: Pedro Salinas between two women», with dramaturgy by Julieta Soria and directed by Ainhoa Amestoy (from April 29 to May 24); «Ira», a work by Julián Ortega directed by Dan Jemmett (from May 22 to June 14); «J’attendrai», by José Ramón Fernández, directed by Emilio del Valle (from June 18 to July 12); and “Silence”, by Los Colochos Theater, from the “Shakespearian Othello” (July 16-19).
On March 27, the French Marie Modiano opens the Café program, where they will also perform – in addition to the Mixed Animals actors – Kalaf Epalanga (March 28), and Elena Lombao with her show «Sufrida Calo» (2, 9 , April 16 and 23).
The program is completed with the final of the IV Dramaturgy Tournament (June 5) and the video performance installation «Museum of Fiction – Empire I», by Matías Umpiérrez (April 22-26).
«The sectarianism of the left»
The tension that stained the Spanish political life in recent times moved yesterday to the presentation of the Spanish ships. Andrea Levy, delegate of the Area of Government of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the City Council of Madrid, had begun the act highlighting that the return of this space to the lap of the Spanish Theater was a vindication of the sector, and that had been made known to those who had passed through his office. “They did not understand why the theater literature of this space had disappeared,” he said. “It is about bringing together what should never have come apart.” Andrea Levy announced that the plates with the names of Max Aub and Fernando Arrabal would be restored, “which eliminated sectarianism on the left.” This statement did not sit well with some; a voice was heard protesting: “Enough, enough!”, followed by murmurs and applause, and the question time was used by two journalists to reproach harshly the words of the councilwoman. .