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TEENAGE MATURITY

One of the scenes in the play
La noche del oso (The Night of the Bear
), written by Ignacio del Moral
Actors: Alfredo Teja, Pablo Vera and Yaiza Sanchis
Producer: Gaudint Teatre
Director: Manel Gimeno

The play was performed on 18 November at the UA Auditorium.

‘Teenage Maturity’ review by Benito Elías García

Gaudint Teatre, along with Manel Gimeno, has brought to the Auditorium a new version of La noche del oso (The Night of the Bear) which is better than expected in spite of being amateur. The play, created by creative and polifacetic director Ignacio del Moral in 2001, tells us the adventures of three ill-fated teenagers when it comes to their families. In the afternoon, they meet in the park to share laughs and misfortunes.

Jaime (Pablo Teja) is a rich kid whose mother refuses to grow up, is constantly out partying or bringing her boyfriends home, and does not really act as a parent. As a result, her son’s education is carried out by a psychologist. Ángel’s mother (Yaiza Sanchis) died - or killed herself - when he was a child so his grandmother took care of him. She is the one that influences his kind but determined character (as he will show at the end of the play). And finally there is Enrique (Pablo Vera) who is full of repressed violence since he has to live with his brother, a patient of aggressive dementia). Of course, this restrained violence will be shown on stage, to the audience’s shock. Tired of his brother’s outbreaks and his parents’ indifference, Enrique decides to not come back home, and his two friends want to at least spend his first night out in the park with him.

On this basis, it is clear to see that The Night of the Bear uses theatrical expression to analyse the obvious psychological and social consequences of three teenagers living in such home environments while it sets up a tragic atmosphere balanced with amusing dialogues.

Even if the play does not include a complex set design and staging, the director’s use of time is very clever and accomplishes the hard task of telling a lively story with only three characters. There are no great technical displays in the first part: plentiful light, some realistic urban furniture (a street lamp and a bench) and nothing else. It is enough for the beginning since this is not supposed to be an spectacle, but a conversation between three people.

Afterwards, the teenagers go to Ángel’s garage and to an abandoned cinema. It is then that light becomes the main protagonist, especially when they sleep in the park and the stage is full of stars, everlasting idealistic symbols that allow them to forget the hostile reality at their homes. The music, made up of varied and well-chosen songs, plays during scene transitions. A Hip-Hop theme and electronic music are notable: the first one aims to keep the pace and the second one is used when the curtain rises. Some songs by Melendi (a Spanish singer) are also used, not as a structure role but to get the audience’s complicity with the characters..

All in all, the performance is the result of good organisation of elements, and actors share their passion for theatre with the public. They round off with an agile and intense staging whose different attitudes (fierce or tender) hook up and captivate the spectators. Dialogues between Enrique and Jaime are especially effective, since they are impulsive characters who constantly clash with overwhelming energy, but also with understandable histrionics.

Gaudint Teatre was able to captivate the volatile and therefore demanding teenage public. Even if text talks openly about death, sexuality, family and congenital dementia, the play also creates a refreshing atmosphere by adding vitality and liveliness. As a result, this proposal succeeds in tempering the dramatism of the original text.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante


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