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'Los Figurantes', an adaptation of Sanchis Sinisterra's play by UPUA Theatre Club

Alicante, 24 January 2018
Translated by Alejandro Puertas

The University of Alicante Lifelong Learning Programme (UPUA) Theatre Club will perform an adaptation of José Sanchis Sinisterra’s funny comedy “Los figurantes” (“The extras”) in which they rise up against the main characters. In the play, which belongs to the genre known as metadrama, the extras take the stage to perform a series of surreal and crazy scenes that are not too different from real life. The play, directed by Elisabeth Sogorb, will premiere on 12 June at 8.00 p.m. in the Auditorium and will be the last event of this year’s UA cultural agenda. Entrance is by invitation-only.

For more information and collection of invitations, please go to:

MIC (Cultural Information Point of the University of Alicante Museum - No. 40 on the campus map). Tel. +34965909387
PIC: Cultural Information Point (Cultural Service . Ground floor of the Auditorium- No. 11 on the campus map). Tel. +34965903725.


Aula de Teatro de la UPUA


The play portrays a society of irrelevant characters who want to matter. They complain about it, get themselves ready, make a plan and, finally, they rise up to achieve their goal. However, when they are about to succeed, they cannot make their minds up. They are not able to assume the responsibility of being the main characters. Following the metadrama structure, this comedy is divided in two acts and it is full of quick and direct dialogues written in an informal register and, mostly, of choral scenes in which the cast refer to the dressing rooms and the areas outside the theatre. Besides making the audience laugh, the author also makes an interesting question: Are we really running our own lives?

The play was premiered at the Rialto Theatre of Valencia in 1989 and it has been adapted and performed by several theatre companies over the years.

“Who are these anonymous, dark beings that the playwright throws with indifference into the scene? He does not even bother to give them a name, a number or a voice, although sometimes he does give them a few lines to utter, an ordinal number and barely a body. They make the extras wander aimlessly through the plot, as dark shapes that walk next to those who really shine, the true children of the author’s fantasy: the main characters. [...] However, sometimes the extras rise up. All of a sudden, those vague, grey, faceless shapes who have a tiny role in the story, make the decision to stop the play, check over the cast, question the piece and think about the great mystery: What should we do? It is not an easy job. The first obstacle is their relevance, that “almost-non-existent label” they have to get rid of to finally have a name, be important, be present, be loved and be part of the plot. Their aim is to stop being backstage so, at last, they can stand out and stop being mere extras.”

José Sanchis Sinisterra.


José Sanchis Sinisterra was born in Valencia in 1940. He is a Spanish contemporary playwright and director. He got his degree in arts at the University of Valencia, where he created the University Theatre Club. In 1977 he founded  “Teatro Fronterizo” in Barcelona, a theatre group for which he has worked as a playwright and director of many plays. As a literature scholar and teacher, he has always emphasised the dual nature - literary and theatrical - of dramatic texts. His research work in the field of narration and his connection to playwriting justifies his unconventional writing.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

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