The great novel ‘The innocent saints’, by Miguel Delibes, arrives at the Romea Theater in a stage version that stands out for its vision of today’s Spain
Miguel Delibes published in 1981 one of the great novels of the 20th century, composed as an exemplary portrait of deep Spain. The most famous adaptation was cinematographic: the film that, just three years later, was directed by Mario Camus and starred Alfredo Landa and Francisco Rabal. Since then, the story set in a farmhouse in Extremadura in the mid-1960s has become a classic, whose scope is enormous in the face of the challenge of transforming it into a theatrical text.
‘The Holy Innocents’
Friday at 8:00 p.m.
Romea Theatre, Murcia.
Tickets: €18, €22 and €25.
However, the companies GG Production Scenic and Theater of the Nomad have not thought twice and have “disassembled its structure paragraph by paragraph to put it together in another way that would tell the same story,” explains Fernando Marías, responsible for the adaptation. In other words, the question was: “Where and in what way did we dare to write the words ‘Milana pretty’ for the first time?” Because the theatrical version decided to depart from the legendary film to reinterpret the characters from today’s perspective.
Paco ‘El Bajo’ lives in a humble house at the service of Señorito Iván, owner of the farm, along with his family and Azarías, a man who suffers from a mental disability and whose only concern is raising his ‘beautiful kite’. Life goes on routinely on the farm until the gentleman, on a hunt, kills Azarías’s bird with his shotgun, which provokes a violent response from him. What Delibes achieved with his rural history was a moral denunciation against the brutal hierarchization caused by large estates, the social injustice it causes and the consequences it has on the lives of individuals. Criticism against oppression and contempt on the part of the lords, as well as the general lack of culture in the lower classes, is also not lacking.
The cast headed by Javier Gutiérrez manages to highlight the special traits of each character: «We have seen in Azarías traces of an anomalous hero, Iván’s unpunished wickedness, who damages and wounds everything… Paco, with his iron resignation, he is perhaps the character that most concerns us”, explains Marías. Although the story seems to take place in a very specific context, the truth is that both the theatrical version and Delibes’ approach do not show “circumstances and characters that were and are no longer”. It’s quite the opposite, because in reality “they never finished leaving, they are still there, albeit in other ways.”
These are very well differentiated types that can be accommodated in other spaces: Azarías, Paco and their family represent pure, innocent, upright characters that generate sympathy in the public. The other type, the inauthentic one, that of Señorito Iván, reflects those wealthy and proud people, worried about appearing. The great achievement of Delibes –and now of the theatrical version– is to create a solid and truthful universe, in which more vivid and complex characters live in each reading, within lines that seem to invent literature: «Whoever read ‘Los santos innocents’ knows it».
#Javier #Gutiérrezs #beautiful #milana