Justo Barranco May 22,
2021 Els Joglars returns to Barcelona after six years: satirizes nationalism with Rusiñol’s total freedom
‘ Señor Ruiseñor ’, premiered at the end of 2018, lands at the Apolo theater in Catalan version
Destroyer of fanatics called him Pla (famous catalan writer).
And now Els Joglars uses its absolute freedom and its cosmopolitanism as a battering ram for a satire against nationalism.
It is, yes, the author of L’auca by senyor Esteve and a great modernist painter: Santiago Rusiñol, whom the actor and director Ramon Fontserè defines as “a fantastic Catalan, an artist with a Renaissance spirit and who represents the induction to life sensual, to beauty, the Mediterranean ”. A creator, he adds, “who claimed art as a universal homeland against identity homelands.”
A genius who is now being added to the list of Catalan characters who have approached, such as Dalí, Pla or Ubú / Pujol with Señor Ruiseñor, a work that arrives in Catalan version on Wednesday at the Apolo theater and whose title refers to how Rusiñol was called in Aranjuez, where he ended his days with the position of general gardener granted by Alfonso XIII so that he could enter the beautiful royal gardens by carriage and move freely.
In the piece, nationalist politicians want to transform the Rusiñol Museum into the museum of identity.
The plot of the new Joglars satire? An old gardener from Parcs i Jardins must leave his job due to rheumatism and they relocate him to the Rusiñol Museum, where he will give life to the creator in dramatized visits. Little by little, the old gardener will be imbued with his ideas and way of being. Already in love with the genius, the political leaders decided to transform the Rusiñol museum into a museum of identity. And the conflict will begin, because for the gardener, and for Joglars, Rusiñol is the antithesis of that claim.
“He said that above the borders there is a universal homeland in which we all believe, truth, virtue and beauty”, emphasizes Fontserè, who points out that “in Catalonia the past has been uprooted or falsified and in this way it has been able to configure an invented order, only the part of tradition that is appropriate for a biased story is used ”.
And he remembers that Rusiñol, “who was destined to be the heir to the textile factories of his grandfather, secretly began to paint and chose art, freedom.” Hedonist and with great common sense, he concludes, “he considered that art was the greatest thing in the world”, and now they take it to the stage with a scenography in which a screen shows his painting surrounding an oval inclined platform like a painter’s palette that allows the six actors to play, “because we consider that theater is a game”, says Fontserè, who affirms that the piece has “the satire of a Ubú and the beauty of a Dalí”.
“We have come to Barcelona when we have been able, no one had been interested until Enrique Salaberria did it for Apolo”
A work premiered in Valladolid at the end of 2018 and that has been slow to arrive in Barcelona, where Els Joglars was not seen six years ago. “We came when we could, no one had been interested until Enrique Salaberria did it for the Apolo,” says actress Dolors Tuneu. Fontserè adds that Rusiñol was a great humorist and that “humor has always served to express tragedy in a civilized way”. And she explains that for their 60 years as a company in 2022 they work on a piece about political correctness and puritanism through Aristophanes, father of Greek comedy.