Gone are the years when it seemed that the Grec’s inaugural show was almost a general rejection of what the festival was going to turn out to be. Perhaps it is necessary to go back to 2008 with the eccentric ‘Història d’un soldat’ to remember the last show that caused quite a general rejection.
Today, the opening has simply become the first date, the expected meeting of the scenic world in a place as special as the Teatre Grec. This edition, in addition, supposed the joyous reunion after the emergency edition of 2020 that forced, due to the pandemic, to leave the space almost on the run.
To bet again on the name of Julio Manrique, just two years after his applauded ‘Jerusalem’, was to play it safe at the inauguration. Today the director is more than an actor in the public’s placet, by unquestionable merits, with his showy and virtuous staging.
The closed applause that said goodbye to ‘Carrer Robadors’ on Sunday night in the amphitheater , the stage adaptation of the novel by the Frenchman Mathias Énard -resident in Barcelona and present at the premiere- endorsed the decision of the Grec director, Cesc Casadesús.
The applause rewarded a montage of great visual strength and a somewhat more irregular development . Énard’s novel is ideal for a Grec twinned with Africa. It narrates the odyssey of a young Moroccan from Tangier that ends in Barcelona, on that street in Robadors del Raval of the title.
It is quite a journey, huge, oceanic and from shock to shock, the one that the protagonist makes as an exponent of those migrants who leave their lives, too many times literally, to reach European soil in search of the future.
Flowy and neat adaptation
The problem of ‘Carrer Robadors’ stems from the novel’s own ambition . It is the panoramic photograph of a turbulent time that began with the crisis of 2008, continues with the Arab springs and continues with the indignant of 15-M and the cuts, without ignoring the outbreak of fundamentalist terrorism.
All this, and more, is narrated in a montage that starts off briskly, but which is already losing steam with the young man’s latest experiences in Tangier when he meets Judit, the young Catalan with whom he falls in love.
The piece could have had a less abundant adaptation with situations and characters that perhaps should have been cut (for example, part of what happened in Algeciras despite its drama) to gain scenic verve and be somewhat less verbose.
The work has one of its strengths in the effectiveness of careful projections in the wide scenography that, this time, covers the rocky bottom of the mountain. They give it that showiness, along with careful music (another hallmark of the director), which requires a montage with so many locations.
Through that set design by Alejandro Andújar, the eight performers (plus a dog) move, and run more than once (and not only because of the scenographic changes), among which the omnipresent Guillem Balart empties himself as Lakhdar,the protagonist. Of the eight members of a hard-working cast, two are Catalans with Moroccan roots (Moha Amazian and Ayoub El Hilali), another was born in Marrakech (Mohamed El Bouhali) and a fourth in Ceuta (Abdelatif Hwidarzay).
It was almost inevitable for a play like this and it is, at the same time, a step towards a theater that is a mirror of the world in which we live.
Erik Brady is a news media and fitness professional with a strong experience in online journalism as well as he is a well-known fitness instructor. He strength includes knowledge of sports, health, yoga, meditation, and proficiency. From a young age, Erik has interest in Football and he is MusicLove Contributor.