Josep Maria Vlotats: “Paris 1940 is more mysterious because there is an imminent panic of a world war”

Josep Maria Flotats, Actor, Theater Director, Made in Paris for Theatre, Now One of the greatest masters of the European sceneHe was like a boy on Wednesday, January 11 because the next day he would have turned 84 and he was going to celebrate with his family in Barcelona, ​​where he was born.

I was also excited because Paris 1940 The work presented in Spanish theatre, to an unusually general success for these dates of the Frontier years. Aside from being an essential theatrical lesson in the history of drama, the piece reflects contemporary concerns despite the time its writing material took on itself, and was transposed into Spanish by Mauro Ermine.

The work reflects the value of one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century, the French Louis Jovetwho continued to rehearse on Moliere Don Juan Even when the Nazis put swastikas at the workplace of the director and the actors of a theater in Paris. And now, in the Spanish Renaissance (it’s been done here before, in 1993 and 2002), I’ve caused Unceasing amazement at the barbarism to which Hitler wanted to subjugate Europe.

That swastika that marked the German dictator’s passage through the world and that was so devastating dominates the scene so close, and here it is until the end, when Natalia Howartythe young actress rehearsing a jouvet (in this case, Flotats) the demanding part of Molière’s work, finally says the most complex part of her speech to the director’s demanding taste.

It was the result of the process of training and labour, an image whose sentiments are now generated by the fact that many of the oppressions that shook the foundations of Europe (and the world) were gravely recreated in various countries on European soil.

During this conversation with Flotats (who organized special day The hatred As for art, who has a plethora of other dramatic challenges behind him, and who now thinks about possible new challenges or not so much about characters like Josep Pla or Voltaire and Rosseau) the actor who plays Jouvet recalls his own life as a son at the time, because his parents were Republicans and she took revenge on him Spanish fascism. And at one point on that anniversary, when he was about to turn 84, he could not contain his feelings and there we saw him endure the tears that came from an impossible-to-forget period in the theater and in life.

It is about those symbols that the world has not erased that our questions begin.

The swastika warns of the danger that surrounds us. […] Well, every night I see this terrible flag and I get goosebumps. Even from an aesthetic point of view it makes me sick. I feel attacked

Q: This code that suddenly burst into business is still overwhelming today. What does this code produce for you?

R was found. The swastika warns of the danger that surrounds us. Some German military chants are heard and a janitor gives the Nazi salute. Meaning: placing the viewer in a dark, dangerous, and disturbing environment or atmosphere. Well, every night I see this terrible flag and I get goosebumps. Even from an aesthetic point of view it makes me sick. I feel attacked. But … At the same time, I hope the audience feels the same way. Because this means that there is a rejection of all of that.

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s. Suddenly a swastika looms over the reality of Paris and & mldr;

R was found. And the protagonist says something like: “With everything that’s going on, I’ve lost the work I’ve done inside of me. I have no feelings, I feel completely veiled. But deep down he doesn’t lose hope. He knows that they too, the Nazis, will pass. He focuses on his art because This is a way of resisting. I think that’s the general message of the play. In a few words, it’s all about saying: “We must keep going, we must keep getting better.”

Q: The teacher tells the actress to dare more, but as a spectator one feels afraid.

R was found. Yes Yes. And, you know, when we were training I asked not to lower the flag. They only took it down at the penultimate rehearsal because you had to see how the light hits it, so that it would be well lit. But … It was better not to see her. It was like seeing evil and you didn’t have to suffer ahead of time, right? Once you’re ordained, well … You already have to do this.

I am probably more shocked now than ever because there is a sense that we are on the cusp of World War III. And I want to express this panic.

Q: That’s right: With only this science, evil is rooted in action and among bystanders.

R was found. I have done this job three times. I did it for the first time in Barcelona, ​​in Catalonia, in 1993. Then in Madrid in 2002. And this is the third time. In other words: it’s different times. I am probably more shocked now than ever because there is a sense that we are on the cusp of World War III. And I want to express this panic. This is a terrible threat. Suppose today there is a certain analogy with the Second World War: the economy is deteriorating, there are energy problems … Everything seems to be a logical consequence: war. Well, it can’t be. it can not be. My weapon is theater and with theater I must fight to educate people. That’s why I recompiled this work. Because our trade is a serious commitment. The stage is not only heiji or hahaha.

s. So this work is more real now than it was in 1993 and 2002.

R was found. Yes sure. What happens is that when I did it in 2002 there was no danger of a world war and … I have not felt that theater is in danger as I have in recent years. In other words: It was just a tribute to my roots. morning [por el 11 de enero] I will be 84 years old and I don’t know what awaits me, but it is clear that I already have fewer years ahead of me than 20 years ago. This is clear, isn’t it? So I need to thank my teachers, the audience, and everything that has allowed me to build myself up as an actor. This is also why I recompiled this work. I went to Strasbourg thanks to a scholarship. It was amazing, I had extraordinary teachers who, when they found out my scholarship was only for one year, interceded for me to renew it so I could continue studying. But it turned out that the Spanish embassy advised them not to keep me there because, literally, “it is not good for a Spaniard to spend more than a year outside Spain, because he can acquire ideas contrary to order.”

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Q: Wow.

R was found. But the brigadier general replied to the embassy that Franco was not in command in France, and that he was also a resister, and I told them, “We have won.” And that’s it, no more was needed. I finished school then went to paris and mldr; Things were sequencing. I was lucky or what do I know. He was a good student, yes, but also … Let’s see: I couldn’t get my father to talk about the war. He told me only once that he took part in the Battle of the Ebro on the Republican side. He told me, “I saw an Ebru that was red with blood.” And my mother told me that one day my father came home in a rag and said only: “We are lost.” [silencio y se emociona].

Q: These testimonials may have strengthened your relationship with the scene.

R was found. Yes, I’m telling you this so you understand that when I look back, I see that I’ve had scholarships and such, but I’ve also met people with similar stories. The dean of Strasbourg had taken part in the resistance, for example. and … Look: my dad didn’t lose. Thanks to this, my father won the rector. So Paris, 1940 It’s also a tribute to people like him. And to the teachers who trained me and who, one way or another, had something to do with this situation.

Q: There’s a moment in the play when you’re just Louis Jouvet on stage, not a lot of Flotats. What do you need to do as a Jouvet?

R was found. It forces me to completely forget myself. Because what I say is not new to me, they are phrases that Jovite’s disciples repeat to me. That’s why I have to be an excellent messenger. I am the Messenger and I do not exist and & mldr; This is my commitment and duty. Jovet said there are two ways to do theater: surface and depth. This will to do well, to go better, to go for more, is what shaped me. That is why at that moment I only voted Jouvet. I believe in the script, and I believe a lot in the script that flows in me and I release it.

I come from a time when business was done very carefully. Previously, if the theater was private, the owner lived in the same building and if you went at 10 o’clock in the morning, you would find him removing or putting up a sign or cleaning something up.

Q: There is a Jovet saying: “Rest is the death of the artist.” Do you see that in the contemporary scene?

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R was found. Well, yes, unfortunately. I see comfort. There is almost no commitment from the artist. loss. But … Not because of the interpreters or managers, but because of the system. The economic administrative system that makes production impossible. I still think the place is a theater and sometimes they have three or even four shows for sale in one day & mldr; It does not have the quality and rigor of before. Sometimes because there are not enough technicians, sometimes because the groups are small and have to be moved, sometimes because the floodlights are not enough and they also have to be moved & mldr; In other words: no pampering or grooming needed. I come from a time when business was done very carefully. Before, if the theater was private, the owner lived in the same building and if you went at 10 in the morning, you would find him removing or putting up a poster or a picture or cleaning something up. That’s another thing! See: When I was hired in Paris to do a play about euthanasia, the director said to me, “Simon Perry wants to see you.” I went, she was the owner and she lived upstairs. His servant told me to wait in a room full of pictures and then took me into a room where a lady was in bed, wearing a hat and veil. It was a 90-year-old lady, or something, who asked me to sit on her bed and she took me by the hand and told me wonderful stories of everyone who passed her theater, and at the end she would say to me, “I don’t think so because in bed I won’t see him.” It turns out that next to the bed he had a window and he opened it and from there you could see the stage! It was like the fourth floor, I think, and from there I watched shows every night. Isn’t that love for the stage?

Joffe’s fifth lesson coincides with the entry of the Nazis into Paris. What tension did you want to convey to the stage at that moment?

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R was found. Remember the end of our war and convey the internal imbalance. An iron will to keep going without knowing if we’ll make it to the end of the chapter. that. I met many people in France who lived during the occupation and they told me about it, how they saw people being forcibly taken to concentration camps. I also met Jorge Semprin a lot in Paris and he talked to me about that barbarism. then … I tried to think of all of that and all of them to make this work.

[En ese final, cuando la esvástica sigue en pie y en la espalda del abrigo de la actriz que representa la joven Natalia Huarte se ve impuesta la Estrella de David, el símbolo de los judíos, el patio de butacas saltó como un resorte, como si la emoción que se fue incubando en la sala del Español a lo largo de la representación convirtiera los aplausos en un himno de la Resistencia].

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