Interview. Part 2

Kouvola
(Photo from  https://www.instagram.com/laextranacompania )
(Photo from https://www.instagram.com/laextranacompania )

Santiago, I know, that now you are part of «La Estraña Compania» («The Strange company») and perform in «La Excepcion y la Regla» («The exception and the rule»). So I want to ask you some question about team and the performance.  

– Did you immediately agree to participate in the «La Excepcion y la Regla» («The exception and the rule»), why did it attract you?

– Not immediately. I took me about a week. I was planning on moving from Spain and the play would require to stay here at least a year and a half.

– Who came up with the idea to gather such completely different talented people in «La Estraña Compania» («The Strange company») ?

– It all came from El Centro del Actor, a studio where we individually went to stay trained as actor. We joined Catalina LLado and her training. Some of us meet there during that process. Then my cast mates build the company and invited me to join for this play.

How does it work in a team where there are 4 girls and you are one man during tour? do you often argue with each other or not?

– We don’t. We actually love, respect and really enjoy each other.

(Photo from https://www.instagram.com/laextranacompania )

– What is your role in this performance?

– I play different characters. I am the musician, the I am ´el tabernero´(landlord), and then ´el viudo´(widower). I also introduce the scenes.

– In the «La Excepcion y la Regla» («The exception and the rule») you play the guitar, and what other musical instruments do you play in the performance?

– I play mainly the guitar but we use many different instruments and objects during the play. Specially percussion ones.

– Who create the costumes, chosen in this colour, and what these colours mean? 

– The very talented Ernesto Artillo created the Costume design. Colours represent different social classes which Brecht always pointed out.

– How many hours did the rehearsal take at the beginning and now on tour?

– A lot of hours, trust me.  A LOT!

(Photo from  https://www.instagram.com/laextranacompania )

How do you tune in before the performance, any ritual?

– I make sure my body and my voice are warm. Also my emotional spectrum. That preparation might take some time.

Was it difficult during the pandemic without performances and spectators, what feelings did you feel when you first appeared on stage and returned to rehearsals after a lockdown?

-It was difficult. At the end of the first show back in October, I cried like a baby.

(Photo from https://teatrodelbarrio.com/la-excepcion-y-la-regla )

-Did you miss rehearsals and tours during the lockdown or did you manage to rehearse online?

– We rehearse online but we stopped for a while. The situation was bigger that all that we were able to do.

-What feelings do the whole team have when you see not full halls and masked spectators?

– I was grateful to see them there, and also proud of the theatre community for creating a safe environment during this year for people to enjoy the plays.

-Does the audience welcome you and «La Estraña Compania» («The Strange company») everywhere with warmth or are there differences?

– Every city is different. Buts usually people we end up with a warm feeling in all of them.

What is your favourite city where «La Estraña Compania» was on tour, which was especially memorable for you?

– Tenerife, Mallorca because of the see and warm weather and then my city Valladolid because it was full of people that I love.

– Is there any funny story that happened to any of the «La Estraña Compania» («The Strange company») member?

-Once I lost my luggage and a partner had to buy underwear for the play at the last second.

-How do you define your colleague Alba Flores?

-Worker, talented, and committed with social causes’.

– How do you define your director Catalina Llado?

-Wise, visionary and committed with the people.

-Do you have dream countries to visit with «La Estraña Compania» («The Strange company») with tour?

– I would love to go to México and Europe.

Thank you very much Santiago for your interesting answer and interview it was pleasure to talk with you!

Short description about the performance: “La Excepcion  y la Regla” («The exception and the rule»)

In «The exception and the rule » brings us closer to the expedition that a foreign merchant, with a local guide and carrier, undertakes to cross the Mongolian desert with the aim of discovering new oil wells. The race to arrive first, leaving behind the competitors and the harshness of the desert are mixed with the cultural and social differences between them, distrust and fear. All this will put the characters in an extreme situation. «The Strange Company» observes this story (starring Alba Flores, known for the character from Nairobi in the successful series «La casa de Papel» («The paper house»)), recounts it and rethinks it, composing for the audience a landscape of human contradictions. A court will judge the tragic outcome of our story, raising many questions: Is justice possible in a world with social inequalities? How far does man exploit nature and his own nature out of ambition? Can fear justify violence?

Lidiia Benkovskaia
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