July 24, 2019
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Spanish play about role of poetry, beauty in a sick society comes to Uruguay

Alejandro Prieto

Montevideo, May 17 (efe-epa).- A play that Spanish theater company La Zaranda will present this weekend in Uruguay's capital aims to stir people's emotions by upholding the enduring value of poetry and beauty in a frenetic and troubled world.

Titled "La extinta poetica," it will be performed on Saturday and Sunday at Montevideo's Teatro Solis.

Actresses Carmen Barrantes and Laura Gomez-Lacueva, who portray the oldest daughter and the mother, respectively, in this work written by Eusebio Calonge and directed by Paco de la Zaranda, spoke to EFE here Thursday about the play.

Barrantes said the theatrical work, the first in which De la Zaranda is not working with his regular cast of actors, presents a family made up of a couple and their two daughters and examines the role of poetry in a "sick and drugged out" society where everything is resolved quickly through consumerism and taking pills.

"It talks about being a hamster in a wheel, how you're constantly spinning around but not getting anywhere; it talks about a person who has a problem and takes a pill that messes up something else and then you take another pill ... They're like cycles, and in that whirlwind (we have to see) where poetry is," the actress said.

Gomez-Lacueva said for her part that the essence of the work lies in how poetry and beauty are still able to manifest themselves amid the horror, a concept symbolized by the role of the younger daughter, a disabled girl who auditions for the role of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

"In a certain sense, everything revolves around poetry, beauty, even though they're surrounded by terrible and horrible things. And beauty, the symbol of that, is the girl; the girl with a disability is the only one who provides a sense of the beautiful, of hope," she added.

But Gomez-Lacueva said that the play also has many "layers" and different spectators will grasp different ones and come away from the story with their own unique reflections.

She added that in the play the parents and their daughters are all taking pills and screaming at one another and that that chaotic family environment symbolizes modern society.

The actress also pointed to the play's goal of having an emotional impact on the audience.

"I think that the type of work they do (the play's creators) and that we're embodying on stage is a work that gets inside you and touches you ... It's about stirring up emotions, like when someone likes someone or you fall in love and your body is aroused. It's the same thing," Gomez-Lacueva said.

Ingrid Magrinya, Rafael Ponce, Barrantes and Gomez-Lacueva will portray the four family members in the play, which premiered in Spain in 2016 and will be performed on Saturday and Sunday at Teatro Solis.

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