“Pedro and the captain”. Stage play of Benedetti
Pedro and the captain, of Mario Benedetti, sang to the freedom
The Room Buffet was dismissing of the IES Núñez of Maple to move to the Young Space of the Walk of Zorrilla last June 5 with a surprising stage play: "Pedro and the Captain” (Quartet Theater, Xiqui Rodríguez). Nevertheless, the farewell was sad: With scarce public and without any representation of the public administration in the room that was a head office of the network of Theaters of Castile and León and of the Municipal Foundation of Culture.
With only two personages, Pedro (Raúl Escudero) and the Captain (Pablo Rodríguez), the representation manages to upset the spectator. Pedro is a political prisoner that suffers continuous tortures on the part of a group of military men (they never appear in scene); only (the personage of the captain) confesses the truths of its life to one of them, although also he should ill-treat him psychologically and physically.
Pedro was a normal man, with a conventional life (its employment in the bank, its house, its car, its family), until bad times came and the State turned into a dictatorship. Now, its situation is critical, it is before a system of implacable power, the police state that it chases for its leftist ideology and of the one that cannot escape; also, the captain submits him, continuously, to an emotional blackmail in which it plays with its feelings and the life of its wife (Beatriz) and its children. The personages are very well defined in the text and in the perfect interpretation of the actors: The Captain is the authoritarianism prototype, that one that abuses its power opposite to the dweebs and there believes proprietor of the absolute truth; fundamentally, its language is a symbol of its powerful and faint-hearted character simultaneously (when it humiliates Pedro it calls him by Rómulo, the name that it was using in the secrecy; nevertheless, in the end it treats him as “you“).
For his part, Pedro is a fighter, an idealist and, especially, a good friend who is not going to betray its companions, he prefers to suffer all kinds of threats and blows before hurting theirs.
Throughout one hour and a half, the captain tries that Pedro confesses information to him on its party partners, which is turning into a hard dialogue on its circumstances and into a recognition to the allegiance and the resistance of the prisoner.
The end is amazing: Pedro, dying person, does not denounce its friends and, what is more curious, plants facing its inquisitor. The tortured one turns, against its will, into “tormentor“. Pedro transforms in his own executioner and vice versa; this way, Benedetti goes deep into the psychology of the military man: the captain appears like a fragile, infantile personage tormented about its wretched existence, the traumas of the past they have led him to a feeling of inferiority and intolerance; all this has shaped its intransigent personality and, finally, despicable.
The drama, in four acts, was written by Mario Benedetti in 1979. The Uruguayan writer conceived like a social denunciation against the Latin-American military dictatorships of the decade of 1970 – his 1980 (Pinochet in Chile, Videla in Argentina, Banzer in Bolivia, Velasco Alvarado in Peru, Somoza in Nicaragua … etc). Although written more than three decades ago, the work is of full actuality: Well it might be located in the repression of the Arab countries after the riots of beginning of this year 2011. In her, either any epoch nor concrete place is mentioned. This way, also “Pedro and the Captain” can carry us back to the horrors of the Nazism and of any dictatorship or dictatorship (Mussolini, Franco, Stalin …). “Pedro and the Captain” is a declaration against all kinds of imposition, it is a singing to the democracy and to the freedom of expression, which survives even, beyond the life.
As for the properties, the spectator submerges in the solitude and the coldness of the office of the captain in the prison only with a table, a chair and an adjustable table-lamp. The wardrobe, also simple: A dark blue uniform for the captain and a hood for Pedro, with a symbolic meaning, in addition to which it possesses already in the work (the ill-treatment, the absence of freedom): The man who is forced to remain blind and dull opposite to the abuses and the injustice. The most innovative thing, the camera projecting images of an arrested in a real cell and the effect of “typewriter“ which keys were perpetuating on the "screen" the name of other arrested.
My congratulations to Quartet Theater, group arisen from the theatrical school Open space, for updating this big work and, fundamentally, for its excellent staging.
Cristy G. Luxuriant.
Spectacle: PEDRO AND THE CAPTAIN
Company: Quartet Theater
Direction and Drama: Xiqui Rodríguez
Interpretation: Raúl Escudero, Pablo Rodríguez
Filed file: General
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