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Villa + Discurso

Villa + Discurso


Director: Guillermo Calderón

1 Jul 2011 - 19:00 | 2 Jul 2011 - 21:30 | 3 Jul 2011 - 22:00

Sala Polivalente of the Modern Art Centre

Admission 15 €

Yes, we really do like these two new plays by Guillermo Calderón. We like them so much that, after presenting Neva last year, we have decided to re-present the last two plays written by this extraordinary Chilean stage director and playwright, and performed by some equally extraordinary actresses. The two plays take place at the Villa Grimaldi, known under the Dictatorship as Londres 38, a house that has sad and gloomy associations with Pinochet’s regime.  

The first play presented – Discurso – is a fictionalised speech made by President Michelle Bachelet when she bid farewell to the presidential palace. She begins like this: “Today, I’m not going to speak to you with soft words and hackneyed clichés…” And this is followed by a manifesto for the exercise of power expressed from the point of view of someone who acknowledges her condition as a woman, paediatrician, optimist and socialist. And it is fascinating to see how Calderón takes hold of a subject that is so full of risks, in a character who is considered to have been the best president in the history of Chile and who questions exactly what power is.

And then comes the second part, which takes place in the same room with the same actresses, and the theme is apparently a simple one: what to do with that house that has such a historic past and is a memory that needs to be preserved of the clandestine struggle and the torture that came with it? The three actresses engage in a long discussion around a table on which there stands an architect’s model of the Villa Grimaldi. Starting from this realistic and apparently simple device, and one that is even quite banal in terms of its media impact, Calderón constructs one of the most powerful, solid and profound dramas about the human creation of the arts, the validity of contemporary art, the democratic debate, ideological conflicts and the role of the museum; and in no situation is there any hint of the possible ideological interference of the author.