Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega

Placa en la Plaza Mayor de Almagro
Placa en la Plaza Mayor de Almagro (Photo credit: elarequi61)

This evening I finished reading this extraordinary play in a dual language version.  Regarded as Lope’s most famous work, it is a tale of honour and the power of the common people.  Quite apart from the poignancy of the piece amongst brutality and even The Rack, the setting of the play in the Almagro /Ciudad Real area of Spain is of great interest as it is where I will be seeing a representation of the work at the Almagro Festival.

Lope de Vega, like Shakespeare, incorporated historical occurrences in his writings and for anyone lacking in the finer detail of Spanish history, the translator of the text, Stanley Appelbaum (Dover Publications) provides a comprehensive background to the work and  a fine account of Lope de Vega‘s poetic form.  This read has been an enriching experience and confirms the notion of theatre belonging to place. How greatly I am looking forward to seeing this work in its authentic environment even if it is some 600 years on and with postmodern dramaturgy.  Incidentally, according to Appelbaum, Lope de Vega wrote Fuenteovejuna between 1611 and 1618 and the actual incident occurred on 22 and 23 April, 1476.

The play is colourful, humourous and immensely rich in medieval chivalry. I highly recommend it.

Travel Frenzy!

Only 27 days to go before I’m on the plane to Athens! I’m in a travel frenzy organising iphone and ipad communications and theatre reservations.

Athens: 5 shows in 6 days including Antigone, Iphigenia at Aulis and best of all, Medea, at the Ancient Theatre at Epidaurus. My 3 favourite plays that happen to be about women.

Spoleto: Because theatre in Rome is closed for the summer I decided to head north to Umbria and although it is not in my plan of tracing theatre history chronologically, there is some not-to be-missed theatre such as Robert Wilson‘s The Old Woman and Irina Brook‘s, Island Trilogy. Some times one can just get lucky!

But another stroke of luck, I did find classical Roman theatre in Spain. So as well as doing the Almagro festival I will head over to Merida for a production of The Golden Ass by the second century author,  Apuleius. It is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety. Please check out the Roman ampitheatre it’s extraordinary!   http://www.spain.info/en/reportajes/teatro_romano_de_merida_el_ultimo_refugio_de_las_musas.html

Finally thanks to Pan Australian Travel for being so accommodating to my theatrical whims.  http://www.panaustravel.com.au

English: Illustration of the Golden Ass by Jea...
English: Illustration of the Golden Ass by Jean de Bosschère. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)