After The Swallow earlier this year, I’m delighted to return to the Cervantes Theatre, London’s home of Spanish and Latin American writing, to chair two post-show Q&AS: Ay, Carmela! in September and Lorca classic Yerma in November.
Written in 1986, José Sanchis Sinisterra‘s stage play Ay, Carmela! was also famously made into a 1990 Spanish film starring Carmen Maura.
At the Cervantes Theatre, in the English version, Portuguese-born West End star Madalena Alberto (Evita, Piaf, The Vote, Zorro) will take the title role. The production is directed by Paula Paz, co-founder and associate director of the Cervantes.
Carmela and Paulino are a couple of travelling entertainers who mistakenly cross the border that separates the two opposing sides of the last Spanish Civil War. Surprisingly they end up in Belchite – at a square that the National Army has just liberated. Both actors will be forced to improvise a theatrical evening to celebrate the defeat of the enemy. What begins as an entertaining tribute to the victors ends as a tragic comedy.
One of Spain’s most respected contemporary writers and directors, José Sanchis Sinisterra is the multi-award-winning author of more than forty plays, including Terror and misery in the first Franquismo (1979), Ñaque o De piojos y actores (1980) and Ay, Carmela! (1986).
For the Ay, Carmela! Q&A on Friday 28 September 2018, I’ll be joined by director Paula Paz and other members of the company.