Thursday, November 10, 2011


Theatre sans Frontieres in the Civic Theatre

For their first visit to Chelmsford, this enterprising and energetic group brought their Spanish-language presentation of this “erotic valentine” by Lorca, poet and playwright killed in the civil war. This joint production with Northern Stage was directed by John Cobb.
It was filled with imaginative staging and evocative music. The black-clad spirits, the bed-sheet cinema screen, the ominous birds, the stylised costumes all helped to make the piece accessible to English ears and eyes.
I liked their original prologue, telling us something of the life and work of the author; “Spanish Boy in New York” one of the most successful numbers.
The four actors worked hard to bring the magical tale to life: Nuria Garcia was the lovely Belisa, appearing alluringly at her balcony. Angel Alguacil was her old husband, with Sarah Kemp as his servant Marcolfa. I loved the work of Alicia Martel, who played the extrovert mother, and also provided much of the music.
An enthusiastic welcome from the ex-pats, students and Hispanophiles of mid-Essex, many of whom stayed on for a bilingual discussion afterwards. I hope TSF can be persuaded to bring us their Malmsey Wine, which starts its tour next year in the Canary Islands !

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