Are you fans of Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits? Allende’s multi-award-winning debut novel, released in 1982, charts four generations of one family from the 1920s and the 1970s, and how tightly intertwined their personal fortunes are with political winds of change.
Though the story is set in an unnamed Latin American country, it’s strongly reminiscent of Allende’s own homeland of Chile, where fascist dictator General Pinochet came to power in 1973 after a military coup. How much do you know about Pinochet’s regime, during which thousands of citizens ‘disappeared’?
The bi-lingual company of Paula Paz‘s new stage production of The House of the Spirits hail from seven different Spanish-speaking countries, many of which have had direct experience of authoritarian rule, including Spain, Venezuela, Mexico and, yes, Chile. How does a country heal its divisions after such an experience? How does a family?
I discussed that – as well as magical realism, differences from page to stage in Caridad Svich‘s adaptation, challenges of performing in both English and Spanish, the fluidity of memory and more – with Paz and The House of the Spirits stars Constanza Ruff (who plays Clara), Raul Fernandes (Esteban Trueba), Pia Laborde-Noguez (Alba) and Diana Volpe (Nivea) after Friday’s English-language performance.
Watch and share the full post-show discussion below.
Event photography by Peter Jones.
Production photography by Elena Molina.