Tangled reality

ORA very sketchy collection of tech tidbits, futuristic predictions, internet wonders and quaint trends, narrated by a loquacious quintet around a table and aided by screens, cameras and other gadgets in a narrative for highly connected 30-somethings only interested in the gossip of the moment

This proposal by Darío Facal and Pedro Cantalejo is based on Wikipedia and will sound familiar to those with a moderate general knowledge of global news, that chaotic magma created by the media and social networks to stun us while it seems that they notified us. It echoes the official biographies of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos on account of their space plans, but ignores Richard Branson, who started before them and whose space travel company Virgin Galactic in 2013 pioneered the early adoption of Bitcoin in the purchase of tickets; of the fluctuations of cryptocurrencies, but without explaining the phenomenon; of the reptilian conspiracy, but without citing David Icke, its popularizer for half a century; from various sects, peculiar like the flat earthers or important like the Qanon; of the most extreme derivations of transhumanism and robotics, and of various conspicuous marginalities such as cannibalism, to put in the same bag all the suspicions -founded and unfounded- and all the fair criticism of the AngloZionist ‘new world order’ and thus collaborate to disinformation by saturation that suffocates us.

The show claims to be ‘a historical record of the time we live in, a modern cabinet of wonders that talks about social networks, a polyphonic scenic event in which the factual coexists with the fictitious, what happened with what was imagined’. But it remains a superficial chronicle of the penultimate news section, theater they call a documentary and it is nothing more than current sensationalist reporting.

Darío Facal had quite successfully adapted and directed classic texts, such as the comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, by William Shakespeare, in 2016 at Las Naves del Español (see our review), or the novel ‘El Heart of Darkness’, by Joseph Conrad in 2018 at the Canal Theaters (see our review). He has also directed a well-directed ‘Amor de Don Perlimplín con Belisa en la Jardín de El’ by Lorca over the past decade (see our review), and offered a good adaptation of ‘El brulador de Sevilla’ (see our review). But in the convulsive pre-pandemic times he has taken to getting into other tempting andurriales and the result does not seem good to us.

The piece is now two years old and has not stopped mutating. Its premiere was frustrated in Madrid but it was held in Valladolid in 2021 and then it has been at the Corral de Comedias de Alcalá de Henares before this short return to Madrid. But not for that reason has it lost an air of improvisation perhaps sought, which often makes the actors stumble and distance the viewer who is not in tune. The staging has no more difficulties than the equipment techniques and they are resolved without the slightest fault by the Technical Chief Álvaro Delgado, as well as the lighting and audiovisuals by Raquel Rodríguez. Good sound space to which we must thank the absence of earpieces, and a correct production by the Metatarso company.

Facal seems to have neglected the acting direction and the cast is unconvincing; Of course, he doesn’t call them actors and actresses, but that very modern ‘performers’. Mario Alonso is the most empathetic, and Pedro Cantalejo (already collaborating with Facal previously) and Mateu Bosch (replacing Kees Harmsen) second him better than Almar G. Sato and Laura Escobar, but neither what they tell us nor how they tell us they managed to interest us in a hesitant and lengthy proposal that ends in an innocuous bid.

Perhaps by chance, or simply because it’s the latest dramatic fashion, ‘Reality’ almost coincides with another very similar piece, ‘RUN [Jamás caer vivos]’ by Jose Padilla. Very similar: look if you do not believe our corresponding review.

Interest: 6
Text: 6
Address: 6
Staging: 6
Interpretation: 6
Production: 6
Hand program: still no
Documentation to the media: none

The Summers of the Villa
Count Duke Cultural Center
August 3 and 4, 2022

Almar G. Sato, Laura Escobar, Pedro Cantalejo, Mario Alonso and Mateu Bosch

Artistic Team
Dramaturgy Pedro Cantalejo and Darío Facal
Lighting design Raquel Rodríguez
Sound space Room 603
Audiovisual design Raquel Rodríguez
Technical manager Álvaro Delgado
Production Manager Mario Alonso
Directed by Dario Facal
Distribution Lorenzo Pappagallo and Jorge Tejedor (Xperteatro)
A Metatarso Productions production
With the collaboration of the Meet You Festival and the Calderón Theater in Valladolid

Approximate duration: 100 minutes.


Jose Catalan Deus

Editor of the Journalist Digital Cultural Guide, where he regularly publishes his art, opera, dance and theater reviews.

Tangled reality – Digital Journalist