Helena Pimenta returns to her first love, William Shakespeare
For eight years -from 2011 to 2019-, Helena Pimenta directed the National Classical Theater Company, and had to shore up his great love of youth: William Shakespeare. «I have really enjoyed the classics of the Spanish Golden Age -says the director-, but I am very excited to return to it. They are parallel worlds, they have similar searches. The idyll between Pimenta and the bard of Stratford-upon-Avon has resulted in productions of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Love’s Labors Lost’, ‘The Tempest’, ‘Two Knights of Venice’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Coriolanus’.
Now, and again at the helm of Ur Teatro, it premieres today in the
Ships of the Spanish, in Matadero -with the Spanish Theater itself as co-producer of the show-‘King’s Night‘, one of the great Shakespearean comedies.
Helena Pimenta herself signs the version together with her usual ‘partner’ at the CNTC, Álvaro Tato; the scenery and costumes are signed by José Tomé and Mónica Teijeiro, the lighting by Fernando Ayuste, the choreography by Nuria Castejón and the music and sound space by Ignacio García. The cast is made up of Carmen del Valle (Olivia), Rafa Castejón (Malvolio), José Tomé (Sir Toby), Cecilia Solaguren (María), Patxi Pérez (Orsino / Sir Andrew), David Soto Giganto (Feste), Haizea Baiges (Viola ) and Manuel Tomé (Sebastian).
Helena Pimenta confesses having felt ‘some scare’ when returning to William Shakespeare. It didn’t last long, and excitement soon set in when he discovered that the English playwright continued to surprise him even after so much time by his side. «I am surprised above all by his enormous theatricality -she says admiringly-; in every sense. This is a melancholic comedy, and I am surprised by the resources it employs; the keys that are in other comedies but that do not detract from this one’s singularity. Despite the imperfection of his plots, he has the ability to create mechanisms to make a perfect comedy. Going back to Shakespeare is like back to a theatrical bible».
Shakespeare wrote ‘Twelfth Night’ in 1602, and in it, the director assures in the work’s presentation text, “the spectator is questioned ethically and psychologically, and is forced to assume a certain moral responsibility that the author places on him and takes him away by laughter and other theatrical tricks. humor full of freedom the words of this great comedy and crosses the stage to, with lots of laughter, make us enjoy, feel and think». It also refers to the spectator of our days. “Shakespeare has a universal capacity; speaks to other times without doing anything. It has references to its time, but it is easily universalizable».
The search for identity it is, according to Helena Pimenta, the axis around which ‘Twelfth Night’ revolves. “It is something that we do not stop looking for, especially in adolescence. Shakespeare talks about how we fail to love people because they don’t know us.” The work also speaks of loss and constant rebirth. He’s on the show all the time. “In this limitless poem, Shakespeare plunges us into the sea and then throws us into the sand,” continues Pimenta. You always have to be reborn, die and be born again. In his comedies, amid laughter and sorrow, there is a journey towards danger, towards the unknown where the identity that we need to know lives. As much as we try to deny nature, it rebels and shows itself. Disguise, games, passion, ridicule, puns, poetry come to our aid and decipher the mechanisms of knowledge of the soul of the world and of each one of us».
In Spain, we value less the Shakespeare of the comedies than the one of the tragedies. “In England it doesn’t happen like that. You have to decode them, present their characters in their territory -he explains-. His works are a trip to little follies, they are heirs to Italian comedy, Plautus… Shakespeare is an ‘axe’ as a comedian, and he likes the mixture between the grotesque and the serious».
The director’s experience with the golden repertoire makes her look at Shakespeare with different eyes. «The richness of this repertoire is extraordinary. -assures-. Training in it helps you enter in another way; the effectiveness of Spanish verse, for example, is different from English verse, which is more fluid, more direct. Language is both an obstacle and a lane along which to travel.