All love letters…

All love letters…

In one of his newspapers or Notebooks, Albert Camus Definition of a famous person as someone whose first name does not matter. He himself is a role model as well Maria Casares, a top-tier actress with whom he had a passionate romantic relationship. From the epistolary correspondence maintained by the two for over twelve years, the exposition emerges Casares-Camus: A Love Storywhich can be seen in Gracia Free Theatre Until January 21. actress The famous rose The massive background material (865 characters!) has been selected, translated and edited and now they are participating in the play Jordi Buixaderas. As already happened at the beginning of the season with the production of La Calòrica, tickets were practically sold out before the premiere, and in this case, this has as much to do with the attraction created by the illustrious couple as with the meeting on stage of two great artists, under the leadership of the veteran and prolific Mario gaswhich he had previously directed them to Death of a traveler (2009) Darther Miller.

Rosa Renom and Jordi Buixadras star in the film “Casares-Camus: a love story”. © David Ruano

Apart from the letters, the textual material includes some very brief excerpts from Camus's diaries, as well as part of his famous book Nobel Prize acceptance speech I am emotional Thank you letter to his teacher. Also noteworthy are inserts from Casares's memoirs, Distinguished resident (Seville, Renacimento, 2022), a book of great testimony and human value in which the explosive and magnetic personality of the actress – daughter of a prominent politician in the Republican government of Athens, a refugee in Paris since 1936 – appears, and which explains, among many other things, that he saw Camus For the first time in March 1944, in an apartment he does not remember where – it seems to have been Michel Leiris's house -, while the writer was reading the dimensions of the work by Picasso; Even then his “arrogant, absurd face” and “tremendous presence” caught his attention. Later, during rehearsals to play one of the characters misunderstandingIn it, he recognized the signs of undisclosed emotion, the intensity of his intellectual research, and the vulnerability imposed by forced exile. On June 6, 1944 – the day Allied forces landed – they came together for the first time. The return of Camus's wife led to the breakup of the relationship in October 1944, but after the lovers met by chance on the Rue Saint-Germain, exactly four years after their first date, they no longer stopped wanting to know more about each other. They accompany each other, even if it is far away.

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Scenography Sebastia Brosa, which, in the key of metaphor, merges my two imaginations: literature and theatre. The proposal includes elements from previous assemblies, such as three armchairs reminiscent of those found inCinemaand at the same time anticipates – since there is a piano with keys that operate by themselves in the center of the stage, between the office and the instrument store – the show that will replace this one in Lliure of Beauty: Sisyphus does not Written by Jordi Oriol, who, between the demonic tritone and the challenges to the law of gravity, will deal with the model of the absurd hero according to Camus. The displays at the top of the organ provide archival documents – it is impossible not to succumb to the magic of the images – between the songs of Charles Trinet and Yves Montand.

Sebastia Brossa signs scenography
Sebastia Brossa signs the scenography of “Casares-Camus: A Love Story”. © David Ruano

The puzzle direction, which does not bet on reading, physical imitation or historical recreation, achieves variety thanks to the play with objects. Whether they are sitting in chairs, climbing a ladder or standing behind a screen, Renom and Boixaderas act as administrators in the relationship: they travel according to dates and moods, exchanging adjectives and beautiful addresses; They share fears and anxieties. They thus convey to the landscape, through the word, an essential connecting sanctuary that constitutes, moreover, a privileged place from which they can bear witness to an era very stimulating from a social, political and cultural point of view. Camus's letters are filled with writing crises, observations on the critical reception of his works, a controversy with Sartre, and a trip to Algeria; Those of Casares are full of good and bad jobs, tales of filming and rehearsals, impressions of readings, conversations with Gallimard, the indomitable sadness left by his father's death, and intimate thoughts about the relationship with audiences and the cultural environment. Above all, they leave evidence of passion – “a burning love of pure crystal” – that, as the actress says in her memoirs, makes them jump against each other with dazzling happiness, while at the same time living in a state of extremes and weakness. The correspondence also shows that, having (re)acquainted themselves in a state of fever and impatience, they knew how to leave prejudices and possessiveness behind, to establish a complicit fraternal bond.

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Fernando Pessoa said that all love letters are necessarily absurd; He also said that people who have never written anything are more ridiculous. The selection and combination of the parts directed by Renom tend first towards conflict: jealousy, reproaches and various tears. In fact, Camus, who said he loved Casares even in the way he hurt him—which he described as “War and Peace,” appears in the letters to be poorer than this choice suggests. However, the tone changes: from casual to deep, if not overtly sensual and wild. There is a very great deal of sincerity in the fact that the actors abandon the role of Camus and Casares and merely try to pass – subtly and gracefully, of course – through some selected passages, but it is also true that it is precisely because of this character of transmitters that they assume that it lacks vitality. The liveliness that the cards exude, as well as the gloss that the images of real references emit at the top of the stage apparatus – is undoubtedly a bad trick of the performers that appears in the face of the images of these wonderful characters. The show is distinguished by its sobriety, elegance and evocative power. However, it lacks that bit of emotional abyss that one would expect.

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