Theater is an exercise in perspective that comes and goes, from the past to the present, with the intention of locating concerns and debates that seem new. It is enlightened reflection, thought in action. Beauty and commitment. That is, at least, the theater defended by Juan Diego Botto and Sergio Peris-Mencheta, who in A moonless night directs his fellow actor for one of the roles of his life: Federico, in defense of his freedom of expression. Botto-Lorca is sublime in the precision with which the interpreter defines a character founded on independence of thought and creation. Accurate and truthful also in the narration with which he jumps without stopping from reality to the stage, from history to the present.
A moonless night it is the story of the one who lived his sovereignty to the last consequences. “They canceled me on August 18, 1936,” says the character on a scene that breaks down and mutates in some gutters or on Theseus’s ship. All of them are metaphors for memory. García Lorca de Botto is a cheerful, smiling and responsive man, who is not intimidated by the criticism of a cave society. Lorca is not offended and invites the game of democracy while attending and responding to those who question his freedom. The creators of this show have focused on the uncomfortable and different Lorca for the patriotic Spain, which retains faith in unique thinking and normality. Perhaps that is the most revealing of this montage: what offends not what is seen, but the gaze.
On stage it is emphasized that the ultra-focused right is bothered by everything about Lorca: they do not understand his poetry, they do not understand his ambiguity before Spain, but it is his homosexuality that seems unbearable. And Botto takes a man condemned to death on stage to ask him why he was killed, so that the public that passes by the Spanish Theater (until July 11) does not forget that he did not die, that he was murdered. Because the cancellation, in 1936, was death for a writer who expressed himself fearlessly before the barbarians. The cancellation, 85 years later, is the success of the victimizer unable to respond to criticism against his political, social or economic approaches. Those canceled today are the authors of greater glory, with no obstacles to multiply their opinions here and there in exchange for the tastiest salaries. The more offended they show up, the better the end of the month they secure.
The theater of Juan Diego Botto and Sergio Peris-Mencheta locates the current doubts: jail, death are not a false debate on freedom of expression. The artists convicted of criticizing the Bourbons, either. The persecution of these elements considered anti-system has failed to silence any of them, from Lorca to César Strawberry, Cassandra Vera, Guillermo Zapata or Willy Toledo. You will understand why the perspective that projects A moonless night It is so discouraging despite everything: because in Spain after the murder of Lorca there are those who insist on criminalizing freedom of expression in the Penal Code.