Nina is a moving story about the pain of life unfulfilled. Set in the curious limbo of a seaside resort during the quiet off-season, the story unfolds over the course of a single evening in a hotel by the sea. When a mysterious woman arrives bearing a striking resemblance to a certain young girl who left the resort to follow her dreams in the big city, the hotel owner and his trusted employee who greet her are soon forced to confront the pain of their own frustrated dreams. Written by José Ramón Fernández and translated by Sarah Maitland.
This haunting tale of fantasy and horror in southern Spain has won a range of awards including the Spanish National Prize for Dramatic Literature. Drawing on urgent themes of immigration, human rights abuse and environmental damage, the play tracks the fate of the youngest of three brothers, tasked by their controlling father to turn the scorched earth of southern Spain into fertile land for their tomato farm. A story of forbidden love soon becomes a macabre tale of prejudice, ambition and abuse among the endless miles of shimmering plastic that characterise the Orchard of Europe.
Set in the famous palaces of Bavaria, this play weaves a rich tapestry of literary and cultural history based on rigorous historical research. As King Ludwig II approaches his final days, he is visited by the memory of Richard Wagner, a man with whom he shares a complicated history. Together, they discuss lovers, friends, enemies and opera, and as Ludwig’s last moments draw ever nearer, they are two men united by their desire to leave a lasting legacy and testament to their respective genius.
The Cartographer, by Juan Mayorga, 2009 (Spanish National Institute for Performing Arts and Music
During the Second World War, Warsaw’s Jewish citizens were forcibly detained by occupying German forces within a large dividing wall, separating the Jewish ghetto from the rest of the city. Out of this oppressive geography emerges the story of a boy and his grandfather, a master cartographer and mentor to the boy as he reveals to him a geography of resistance that re-imagines the walls that separate one person’s reality from another. By viewing the past as a map that delimits the present, the play highlights the invisible borders of exclusion and oppression that operate as its contours, cartographies to which we are all prone to adopting. Look out for the forthcoming Spanish revision by Juan Mayorga of his original play.
Agrippina, by Fermin Cabal, 2009 (Caos Editorial)
Agrippina is an urgent story of greed, politics and power in ancient Rome, from one of Spain’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights. It is the year 53 AD, and the city of Rome has survived the successive purges of Tiberius and Caligula. When Emperor Claudius divorces his wife and marries his niece Agrippina the Younger, two great Houses are fused into a single royal dynasty. For a time, the family is united, politics are stable and Rome is quiet. Determined not to led her son Nero fade into obscurity, however, Agrippina hatches a plot to place him on the throne, and unleashes a wave of violence that touches everyone in its path.