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Interview | Nuria Espert: “A long career that ends with this work has everything”



If his own predictions come true, he will retire after his last play, now represented at Romea to BarcelonaAnd Air Island (written by Alejandro PalomasDirected by Mario Jazz) would be the last of the many works of art he interpreted Nuria Asbert on the Spanish and international scene. This is how she explains the withdrawal that she announced in Barcelona, ​​her hometown, her home: “I am very happy with this offer. It has been going on for a long time because it includes a tour that starts in Barcelona, ​​goes through Madrid and other places and yes: I said that after these shows there will be no more projects & rdquo;.

This will happen according to the expectations of the company that hosts it, within a year and a half, as this work has been planned in many scenarios, with the same actresses accompanying it (Vicky Peña, Teresa Vallicosa, Miranda Gas, Candela Serrat), until dates that reach 2024, when The great Catalan actress, who filled (and continues to fill) the performances in which she participated with the public, is 88 years old. Her manager now is Mario Gas, from Barcelona like her, who actually directed her Salome by Oscar Wilde, in 1985, master class (about Maria Callas) in 1998, fires (by Wajdi Moawad), in 2016, and this one by Alejandro Palomas, still valid in Romea.

It is symbolic that it is the Romea theatre, Where he first appeared as a teenager when he was sixteen years oldthe place where she premiered what is already the play that will finally say goodbye to her home and, after the theatre, the most important actress of the Spanish theater for many years.

It was in that historical premiere of his life in Romea the playwright Josep Maria de Sagara He said “This woman has more balls than Taurus” Through the strength of her character as an actress. Then they had the opportunity to check the strength of his presence on the stage by very diverse people, such as Victor García, Luis Pascual or Adolfo Marcilac, and he showed this by going on stage Works by Lorca, Colette, O’Neill, Shakespeare, Fernando Arrabal, and Jean Genet. Mario Gas, who will be its last directorAnd Her current cast includes the young actress Candela Siratwhich revived what Sagara had said about what would be her teacher: “If someday I have the balls of Núria Espert I will be happy & rdquor;.

in Air Island There is also Noria, who was seen by Sagara, and whom Candela wants to get close to. After the performance, still in stage costumes, the lead actress spoke to this newspaper in Rumia’s back room. The voice remains as in the play, and the eyes, as in the scene, attentive to anything, now without the fury that can be seen above when he tries to organize an angry and sad family, the ones in Palomas’ play, Nuria Espert talks, sometimes fiercely, sometimes wistfully, about theater and life. Performer on stage, citizen before life. Upstairs, at a certain moment, before drawing attention to the women of the imaginary family, she has a particularly inevitable moment as an actress, in which she devotes herself to listening, and this is a wonderful moment that we first asked her about. to speak.

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Q: How do you learn to listen in theatre?

R was found. listen. Listening is the main factor in the theater and in life, don’t you think? But, in addition, you need to consider what materials you have on hand in order to draw the character next. For this work, the author created a world that I immediately believed in and that helped me a lot in setting up the performance. The moment comes when the drowning girl’s mother wonders why we’re all alone, but then you see the mother’s arrival serve to reveal the things that happened. It is true that the grandfather told everything before his death, but & mldr; This is a text that was a very pleasant surprise right up to the end. I think the ending is great: “I have done for you what I have never done for anyone.”

s. Your attitude at that end, when you get angry with your daughters in the play, and redirect the lives of each one of them, reminded me of Carmen Balthes, the literary agent who revolutionized the lives of literature and its authors.

R was found. It’s this … What a woman! But here all the characters look very authentic, very human and correct. This is important so that you believe what they tell you.

Q: In the work there is sadness, but there is also humor.

R was found. Yes Yes. This drama allows me and the audience to laugh. I think that’s also why the script is so great.

Q: Is each play unique?

R was found. Yes, this work by Palomas is unique. I have always read all that they have given me and that I have researched, but this work of ours seems to me to be very theatrical in every sense of the word. Because it is full of surprises. Only the greats create these kinds of characters. Chekhov, for example. By the way, Chekhov also put humor into his works.

Q: What is the value of the memory of doing other work to you? Does he force her to act in a delicate manner?

R was found. Yes, this long career has it all. But this work has come to the end of my career, and it is by a Spanish writer, alive & mldr; which he had always wanted.

Q: What do you learn when you do a play like this?

R was found. This work gives me great joy and I think of good luck. Because we were going to do another project, but it fell apart and this one came out of the blue and we liked it. It was like a gift, really.

Q: It is a work about loneliness, every woman feels lonely. What kind of loneliness do we live in today?

R was found. Confused isolation, right? I think. Before you had friends and they admitted to you that they were confused, because they were from the realm of culture, where there is confusion, you are never completely happy, there is always annoyance…but now it seems like it happens to everyone and it’s a universal thing. There is such obvious confusion… The thinking heads of the country are not accepted and I don’t think we have a space like a card operator, a place where you can see a little bit of your future. Today everything is spread out. Every time the great personalities of our current world meet, confusion is noticed. Because we are confused.

Q: How do you feel now that you live in your city as a citizen of this country and Catalonia?

R was found. In all honesty, I think life has given me an amazing gift with this show. We have 18 representations [el pasado sábado 15 de abril] And every day I enjoy it more. Every day I believe more that I have something of value on my hands and that I have an amazing director supporting an exceptional cast. But now I’m going home, watching the news on TV, and that joy is likely to be eclipsed by everything that’s going on in this country and in the world.

Q: But I would like to know what your relationship is now with Spain and Catalonia.

R was found. For me, there is only one country. A precious country, with a great history, that we all collaborated to build. But I live painfully the Spanish societies, and if my words were of any value, I would say: What a pity to see in 20 or 50 years’ time.

Q: You have always been committed to poetry, and it has defined your life besides theatre. What is the value of poetry to you now?

R was found. I remember talking to Armando [Moreno, su esposo, productor de toda su obra mientras estuvo vivo, hasta1994]To tell him that this was the moment of poetry. It’s time to give voice to poets. Later life allowed me to do this with many of our poets. Because I felt that those who know how to count things should be removed.

P. Theater has always served to tell what happens to people.

R was found. Yes Yes. Live theater hooked on life. When life slips up or makes a mistake and causes great pain, or when it tries to get up and put all its meat on a spit, there is poetry and drama and books and authors. But I don’t know if we are in a good moment now.

Q: How do you see the future of Spanish theater?

R was found. There are a lot of new people trying to find their chair or a place to express themselves. But here in Barcelona they have already closed the stage due to the lack of an audience. This is very bad, isn’t it? The theater needs affection, it needs an audience that loves it. The stage is fragile and when there are five exceptional titles in each season the stage thrives and the people thrive.

Q: Haven’t we taken seriously the importance of theater for democracy?

R was found. I have friends in different theaters and they are a bit unfamiliar, frustrated? There can be a correlation between what is happening in different parts of the world: in Rome or London there is no great exaltation of the theatre. I think the same thing is happening here. That’s how it is.

Q: What do you think is the reason for this lack of glorification?

R was found. Well, I saw the potential for change when Franco died. But in the political sense. They hardly cared about culture. Today, the opportunity for great change did not present itself. After the pain of dictatorship many things have awakened in us and instead now & mldr; The big theater troupes no longer exist, for example.

Today’s theater is cooler and more cerebral. Nothing satisfies Shakespeare or Boero Vallejo, for example.

Q: When people applaud you at the end of this play, they’re obviously applauding you, the actresses, the editing, the author, but what else are they really applauding?

R was found. agitation. Sentiment, unfortunately, is no longer common in the theater. Like today’s theater is cooler, more cerebral. Nothing satisfies Shakespeare or Boero Vallejo, for example.

Q: One day you told me you wondered if you behaved well with people. Are you constantly wondering?

R was found. Yes Yes. Because it’s something I care about. But … In response, I say to myself: I behaved tolerably.

Q: How do you feel about the role of the grandmother in work and life?

R was found. I feel good. I think the author was very careful not to have a charming lady bring peace to the house, but someone who knows death is near and knows they have to make that easy to digest for their loved ones.

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Q: One day you also told me that you have to let things flow. How do things flow between the actors out there on stage?

R was found. With ease, sincerity, and desire to grow … This all arose from the second day we started working. That’s why I think we’re now making a mature offer.

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