El Conde de Torrefiel envisages this piece as a town square. The theatre and the square share narrative mechanisms of the present as well as appealing to a collective memory of the past; actors and set are the monuments and persons who move through this square providing forms, stories and names. The stage becomes an agora that allows us to expand the concepts of space and time, extend beyond the physical limits of our surroundings and observe the tensions created by the forces governing the very idea of life. Early in the 21st century, is already agitated and conflictive on a global scale. The days are bipolar: our ways of thinking and organizing ourselves are changing radically and uncontrollably but, at the same time, nothing is changing. The tensions between memory and imagination that make us unique in this world generate in turn a perpetual conflict between the desire to overcome the imperfections of what is, and fear of the unknown, the unexplained and, in particular, the deformed. In the end, the possibility of imagining an unexplainable future becomes a privileged state of perfection: a place where enemies have been defeated; a paradise only attainable through death.
La Plaza of El Conde de Torrefiel is presented at Short Theatre 2020 in co-production with Teatro di Roma – Teatro Nazionale and in collaboration with Grandi Pianure.
El Conde de Torrefiel is a Barcelona-based project headed by Tanya Beyeler and Pablo Gisbert. El Conde de Torrefiel intends to understand the existing connections between rationality and the meaning of things determined by language, as well as the abstraction of concepts, the imaginary and the symbolic in relation to the image. La Plaza, premiered in 2018 and supported by Alkantara & Maria Matos Teatro (Lisbon), Festival d’Automne & Centre Pompidou (Paris), Festival GREC (Barcelona), Festival de Marseille, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts, Vooruit (Ghent), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Black Box Theater (Oslo), Zurcher Thetaerspektakel (Zürich) is still touring in Europe and in Asia.
Tanya Beyeler (Lugano, 1980) lives in Switzerland until the age of 20 until she moves to Spain where she gets her diploma in Drama in 2005. At first, she began to work as an actress in the mode of textual theatre, but time and experience brought her closer to dance and performance. She has studied dramaturgy and Human Sciences in Barcelona.
Pablo Gisbert (Ontinyent, 1982), after studying philosophy at the University of Valencia, he choses to head studies in dramaturgy in Madrid. He got his Degree in dramaturgy in 2011 by the Institut del Teatre of Barcelona and the same year he gets the National Accesit prize Marqués de Bradomín, for his text A cinema burns and ten people are burned. In 2013 he was selected for the European dramaturgy platform Fabulamundi: playwriting Europe.
conceived and devised by El Conde de Torrefiel in collaboration with the performers
direction Tanya Beyeler and Pablo Gisbert
text Pablo Gisbert
cast Gloria March Chulvi, Albert Pérez Hidalgo, Mónica Almirall Batet, Nicolas Carbajal, Amaranta Velarde, David Mallols + local performers
stage design El Conde de Torrefiel and Blanca Añón
costumes Blanca Añón and performers
technical manager Isaac Torres
light design Ana Rovira
sound design Rebecca Praga
sound technician Adolfo Fernández García or Uriel Ireland
technicians on tour Roberto Baldinelli or Javi Castrillón
production Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), El Conde de Torrefiel
co-production Alkantara & Maria Matos Teatro (Lisbon), Festival d’Automne & Centre Pompidou (Paris), Festival GREC (Barcelona), Festival de Marseille, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts, Vooruit (Ghent), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Black Box Theater (Oslo), Zurcher Thetaerspektakel (Zürich)
with the support of Zinnema (Brussels), Festival SÂLMON, Mercat de les Flors and El Graner – Centre de Creació (Barcelona), Fabra i Coats – centre de creació (Barcelona)
diffusion and tour management Caravan Production
text Translations Marion Cousin (Frans), Martin Orti (Duits), Lisa Thunnissen (Nederlands), Teresa Fernandes (Portugees), Christiana Galanopoulou (Grieks), Nika Blazer (Engels)
thanks to Roberto Fratini Serafide, Luisa Guitierrez, Daniel Miracle, Rubén Ramos Nogueira (TEATRON), Christiana Galanopoulou, Griffon dance Studio (Athens), Los Reyes del Mambo, laboratorios Festival SURGE (Madrid), Teatro Pradillo, Museo Reina Sofía, HAMACA Project, Arts Santa Mònica (Barcelona), Fabra i Coats – Fabrica de creaciò de Barcelona.
© Luisa Gutiérrez
Notes on Short Theatre 2020
What else is your work about, besides what is already told in the synopsis?
La Plaza starts from a subjective shot, the gaze and therefore the images through which it is received are an unreliable material as they are elaborated by the perception of a single person who is in some way able (or unable) to share it with the spectators. This subjectivity is built regardless of one’s will and regardless of the organic analogy of our bodies, it is a cultural construction but it is not shared and therefore it is experienced in a certain solitude. La Plaza is a work that portrays a reality closely linked to the public life of the city, understood as a place of current coexistence and in which multiple expressions and ways of being in the world and multiple forms of seeing and understanding the space we move in, converge and collide.
Who or what—real or imaginary, present, past or future—do you think contributed to the creation of this work?
La Plaza debuted in 2018 after creating Guerrilla in 2016 and, although the point of view is completely different, it processes materials that we somehow failed to develop for Guerrilla. The seed of this work, therefore, has its origin in 2015/2016 with the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and Barcelona which strongly marked our relationship with both public space and other people. The image of flowers accumulated in the city squares is not just an image of the play, but a ritual and social act that we wanted to poetically elaborate from an existential perspective. In 2020, two years after its creation, the feeling of loneliness and confinement can acquire a new unexpected meaning.
What do you imagine you will say about this work in fifteen years time? Would you ever have imagined making such work fifteen years ago?
Speaking of the future but also of the past is always a bit speculative because both expectations and memory are quite deceptive. However, one of the main aspects that mark the works of El Conde de Torrefiel is the distortion of time on stage, which is done a lot in the theatre but in our case is done in a forced way, exploring the limits of its sustainability.
Until when are you able to sustain an action? It was one of the impulses to start creating already fifteen years ago and perhaps, even if at that time the result was getting a little out of our hands, we would have surely recognized ourselves in this work fifteen years later or we would have liked to see it, Pablo and Tanya 15 years ago. Talking about the future, I would say that if we continue with this accelerated vital trend it would be possible for La Plaza to become more maddening and suffocating.