jaj, carmela

Jaj, Carmela! [Ay, Carmela!] (2013-2015)
¡Ay, Carmela!
Written by José Sanchis Sinisterra
Directed by Carlos Rodero

Translated by: Bakucz Dóra
Transaltion of the songs: Dobos Éva

Performed by: Vlasits BarbaraSzéll Horváth Lajos

Dramaturg: Keszthelyi Kinga & Balassa Eszter
Set and Costumes: Tresz Zsuzsa
Music Arrangements & Edition: José Javier Delgado
Musicians: Keresztes Zoltán (piano, drums & bass guitar), Fernando Serrano (trumpet), Robert Dakowicz (accordion)
Singers & Background voices: Bende István, Benyovszky Tamás, Kállai Gergely, Orosz János, Rubind Péter, Schäffer Balázs
Choreographer: Kerekes Soma Lőrinc
Light Design: Kiss Béla
Sound: Bánkövi Attila
Recording Studio: Kiss Attila (Kisatisound)

Prompter: Tulik Tímea
Stage Manager: Markó Rita
Direction Auxiliary: Magos Eszter
Director Assistant: Frank Fruzsina

Directed by Carlos Rodero



Jaj, Carmela [poster]

[hasty] NOTES for staging

«Do not touch it more, so this is the rose.»
Juan Ramon Jimenez

«Elegy, [In modern literature] a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.»
English Oxford Dictionary

«…Think with the heart and feel with the head…»
Manuel Aznar Soler

«Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.»
Bertolt Brecht

José Sanchis Sinisterra is one of the dramatists of reference of contemporary Spanish theater. Its importance is transcendental for understanding the evolution of the theater during the twentieth century in Spain. Known worldwide for his play and his teaching work, especially Ay, Carmela! Which it has been translated into nearly 20 languages ​​and performed in 14 countries including Argentina, Germany, Italy, Portugal, UK, Bosnia and Russia.

The Spanish Civil War as a tragic background


Women in the Spanish Civil War

Ay, Carmela! Not only about the Spanish civil war. The role of war is a backdrop of extreme situations1 where two characters initially posed as anti-heroes must face an extreme situation and become one of them someone to scratch and ironically becomes a hero.

The play unfolds on two levels: the fictional and real. The level of fiction is determined by imaginary characters, by an invented story and a series of spacers.

The plane of reality is defined by a civil war that a paradigm of brutality of every war. It is therefore not only our war, it might evoke any war2. It’s a struggle, in a way, by the historical memory against forgetting

Formal renewal, frontier spirit, treatment time, intertextuality in the abundant use of other texts (poems and songs)

Ethical commitment

The elegy is not therefore Carmela, but for a world of lost purity that has been stained by blood, brutality, greed and meanness.

Critical and reflective nature of the play

The journey as a moto

The reason for the trip, the real (the work starts with a frustrated trip) and metaphorical (the final trip Carmela physically and-death journey towards Paulino resignation of civil-death)

The death of Carmela redeem the rude path of a bland and ordinary life and professional work.

Fearful and consolidates Paulino accommodative attitude, on the contrary, his mediocre life.

Carmela, who has apparently failed gives meaning to his life and death, but caution that serves Paulino to preserve his life forever encased in the most bitter failures.

The trip Carmela and Paulino is not exactly heroic nor is initially mythological resonance. Their situation is comic and tragic at the same time. The end of an erratic or wrong trip means the beginning of another journey that takes the form of test. In this test one of them is winning (Carmela) and the other defeated (Paulino). And both, from that moment separately, must take the final journey.

Paulino began the journey that leads us away from that other dignity we saw it, it will cease to be an artist to become a vulgar movie usher, that is, to fully integrated system, the established order that ended the life of his partner. It is the journey of subservience and humiliation of flattery to the rulers. Only partially it represents the antithesis of what it means Carmela. Not a winner, it’s also a loser who has to try to integrate into the world of the victors, a man dominated by fear and by the need to compromise. We can see where seals his accommodating spirit, just to survive. A heartbreaking contradiction of Brechtian roots.

Carmela’s trip is a liberating journey, almost perfectly.

Vulnerability and marginality of the characters, who fail “officially”, but are loyal to something, however modest it may be. We limit this exclusion, insignificance, at least in material terms, but often also moral.

A company of strolling players

Company second-class actors, traveling, strolling players, who were by all peoples of the country and acted anywhere.

The loser Paulino, who is proud of something that is superior to him: art. It is ironic to speak of artistic dignity from the position of a minor comic sense of authenticity, desire to raise their own condition and the situations which he lives.

Sympathetic to progressive ideas and fleeing hollow and bombastic rhetoric of totalitarianism, though lacking deep political convictions and their survival instinct (servility in Paulino) will make them strive to win the will of the fascist hierarchy.

Protagonism of humor



Theatre within theatre.

Brecht, Ay, Carmela! It is, in part, a piece of political theater that has nothing to do with sectarianism or ideological panfletarismo but with the Brechtian encouragement to show, through the vulgarity of Carmela and Paulino, the complexity of the human condition that is capable, boundary conditions in both the heroism and the abjection.

Like Brecht, the work enhances the possibilities of theater within the theater and makes collection of dry materials for the scene. Brecht revised seen through Mediterranean eyes.

Songs, dance, magic, parody, cabaret, varietes, the use of coarse humor, comical at times deliberately obscene language, rendered in irony because it wants to reflect sarcastically image of a country that will become a real travesty of elements himself and perhaps to parody the marked tendency to strident, populist and bad taste so common nowadays.

Playing with the temporal levels

The action begins shortly after the death of the protagonist, however, in the eyes of the viewer everything will elapse on the fateful day when Nationalist troops killed Carmela. But it is not a simple flashback, a more or less skilled technical resource, but a requirement of the dramatic development of the piece.

The three visits since the death of Carmela

The first from the proximity to his partner and strangeness that produces this new world.

The second from a afincamiento true: has known some illustrious dead, not only Spanish, but also Hungarians and loses the ability to enjoy the senses.

On his third visit since it is a stranger. It is rooted in death and feels full solidarity with those who belong to your world.

The characters present in the plot, but absent on stage.

The lieutenant, grotesque but terrible deus ex machina that manipulates and directs everything, who sits at the table of theater lights. As a theater director has the power to make visible or invisible the scenic reality. His deafness is another symbol of that ridiculous characterizing Godot and left, unable to hear locked in his dumbness. Tyranny and death.

Gustavete figure is equally shocking. A boy of dubious value to be converted by the grace of regime change in a being who can decide on people’s lives. He will take the place of the lieutenant and his behavior is governed by the same arbitrariness and arrogance3.

The troops of the victorious army, characterized collectively, almost anonymously, that occupy the same physical space as the real public representation4.

The brigade prisoners to be shot the next morning, for which, indeed, has prepared this grotesque and humiliating role.


Search expressions of civil war that make it universal, underline its internacionalición. Find all possible parallels between the Spanish fascism and communism Hungarian. Is the revolution of 56, for example, a confrontation between Hungarians? From here you can interpolate many details in the work subliminally and Spanish public would see a war that greatly resembles its “Hungarian war”

It is to impregnate all the resources of the work of Hungarian flavor without altering its origin. To keep the original, but at the same time the Hungarian public feel their own. Hungarizar staging without losing its Spanish essence.

I also believe that the Hungarian public feels curiosity and interest in Spain and its history, perhaps in particular the civil war and the Franco regime.

For example, the number of the flag, iconic image of the people’s freedom and Liberty Leading the People, Eugene Delacroix (1830).

Aspects that can be manipulated:

1. brigade prisoners sentenced to death for the work within the work is represented are Hungarians5. At some point, the beginning of the work perhaps in a dark, they are listened to “playing” with the lyrics of Ay, Carmela !, improvising a translation into Hungarian. In moments of the show, when Carmela speaks to them, it could maybe play more than this. Or the playbill could write a text referring to a daily imagery of one of the Hungarian brigade who died after Carmela and tells the whole story as a bequest and years later fell to his grandson, now a prestigious Hungarian theater director.

2. The lieutenant who manipulates and directs the function can be German rather than Italian, which has a parallel meaning in Spanish history but is closer to the Hungarians. They can maintain and increase the puns with both languages, and perhaps a German “hungarizado” cause the same effect and would be well understood by a Hungarian viewer.

3. Add a flatter temporal Paulino in the 50s, it is a decrepit cinema usher. You can play with any Hungarian film projections, may or node, News Franco also in communist Hungary had its namesake. Or Paulino can hear on the radio the news of 56. The old Paulino what could be another actor who would not text.

4. All songs, musical numbers, magic, operetta and vaudeville style can be done with Hungarian music and Hungarian texts well known in subtle and elaborate research and integration of all these different materials.

You could elaborate on the text all these aspects concretándolos examples, develop this with the help of a Hungarian playwright and under the direct supervision of the same Sanchis Sinisterra.

By having the new text, then we would proceed to a new translation.

fotók: Komlós Attila

LETTER TO THE ACTORS that lean out over a PLAY

Dear performers:

You are holding one of the most emblematic works of contemporary Spanish theater. Let me write these lines to go away revealing some of the keys that will help you understand the work and put it into context. This is perhaps one of the first tasks. A little effort to get close to the text and its connotations. We shall have to talk about the drama, that is, how we can approach it for its staging in Hungary. How, without losing its essence Spanish-clearly but, like all great works, inevitably universal we can represent it before a Hungarian audience at the same time discovering things about another culture, you can also feel it as their own. Ay, Carmela! He has penetrated deep into all those who have seen, not only in Spain or Latin America, but in other cultural contexts seemingly diverse as Germany, England or Russia, for his deep humanity, his courageous message and suggestive dramatic treatment. And if we dare to make it live again in a Hungarian stage, it should be with the same intention of reaching the hearts and minds of theater-goers in this country who go to theaters with much interest and curiosity as critical intuition. You can also appreciate, after all these assemblies, so many players of different nationalities who have been in the shoes of Carmela and Paulino, which for all has been a unanimous experience: -a great pleasure up to a big challenge-to When venturing to embody these characters and tell their story. A highly intensive acting work. But for now, focus on the work itself, in an analysis as objective as possible. The maximum understanding of the text will open the door to face his staging with the largest number of possible tools.

Maybe I -that I leave to your criterion-ye asomaros pure text, without notes or comments, in a first reading virgin, alone with a dramatic proposal: you and the autonomous world of Ay, Carmela! and then return to these lines, I hope that you will clarify many things and be able yourselves into a second reading and, with more information.

Here I have tried to talk about the essential aspects of the work, citing some parts of it as examples (to find in bold on the relevant page of the dramatic text). There have also scored some things, mostly trying to explain issues relating directly to the Spanish context and have added some comments on the structure of the work that will serve as a guide as well as performing some brushstrokes and the relationship of the songs and musical numbers. But all this which I will have to deepen and refine much more in my direction-work is now only a small track that you may be moving into the project.

The work has already turned from its opening night in one of the most spectacular successes, both critics and audiences, the Spanish theater during the 80s and 90s and quickly began his unstoppable tour of the great Spanish, Latin American and European cities To this day. Sanchis Sinisterra has the profound conviction which I share absolutely-that is the theater where they can and should happen every kind of poetic transgressions of reality, wonders of dramatic fiction to the viewer justified by the specific nature of art itself representation. Thus, the stage area of ​​Ay, Carmela! It is an empty space transformed by the drama in a physical and concrete place that demands to be taken and to be allowed to speak their own language specifically. A scenic language which space is a theater of the artistic wonders where time moves forward or backward to violate the temporal linearity of our daily lives. This poetic conception of time structure the development of dramatic fiction in Ay, Carmela !, representation of successive meetings of Carmela and Paulino bare stage in an empty theater. And this, to take place before a viewer of today’s warm and bitter vindication of the intimate tragedy of individuals against the epic tragedy of history.

The playright introduces his work

In the playbill that offered viewers the premiere of the work, with his usual lucidity, the playwright explains his intentions in writing the work and precise Ay, Carmela! It is a play about the Spanish civil war, although everything seems to indicate, but rather a play about the theater under the civil war. Accuracy is important because while the action takes place in March 1938 and no less than in Belchite, gritty and real symbol-even today its ruins-visist fierce fratricidal conflict which destroyed and marked several generations of Spaniards, ie even when the space and time of dramatic action rigorously respect the credibility of the historical reality, Sanchis Sinisterra reminds us that Ay, Carmela! It is the fictional story of a dramatic action (The action did not occur in Belchite in March 1938) starring two “artists” vaudeville, Carmela and Paulino, invented by him, and who are they, and not war, who are erected in substance and voice of an entirely fictional dramatic events in support and imaginary perspective of collective tragedy. In the play, thus the leading role belongs to characters, actors in a fiction through which the playwright developed his personal reflection on the power against magic and the boundaries of theater. We are here and lousy marginal context composed this pair of artists from the lower class, who have represented in the humblest popular theaters, the variety show what fine.

Carmela and Paulino, two insignificant “artists” of little lights and minimal political awareness that only seek to survive on his office amid a particularly adverse circumstances for the “art” … and for life, are forced to make, by the Random his unlucky star and the myth-will of the playwright, a very singular representation: the representation of an impromptu evening Artistic, Patriotic and Recreation to celebrate with the victorious army, the “liberation” of Belchite. Indeed, this company of comedians, inadvertently because of thick fog, has crossed the Republican lines to buy sausages in Belchite just fall into the hands of Franco’s troops. Therefore, without eating or drinking I’re stuck sickle and coz in the very theater of great national offensive of the Ebro.

Giovanni di Ripamonte Amelio, a fascist Italian lieutenant, representing the Italian people, that is like saying the young, strong and Western Christian soul, which ironically embodies the “national” army forced them to represent this evening with the victorious army He has decided to celebrate in a Goya Belchite Theatre artistic will that also assists playwright General Franco himself, the “liberation” of the people. Here, therefore, the dramatic situation raises Sanchis Sinisterra in the work: a couple of “artists” of varieties, in the context of “theater” -siniestra expression strategists of warfare referred to space on which rigorously planned destruction and death of the enemy army, the Spanish civil war, forced to represent -sub by military force; as it were, with the gun in the back of his neck An Evening whose fictional character ironically claims the playwright to refer to it as evening that history does not record, perhaps because, aesthetically irrelevant, that never existed. This situational context is completed by the occurrence of Lieutenant, allow attendance to the evening as “ultimate grace,” a group of Republican prisoners, the International Brigades, which is to be shot in the morning … so decisive presence the tragic outcome occurs. In fact, Ay, Carmela! Poses with naked rawness, the situation in the war theater, or better, Theater facing death, leading to the playwright to put your finger on it, to ask ‘Can theater, even as plebeian, hold your grotesque cover to the shameless nudity of death – about the dangers and powers of the theater, a tiny theater, marginal, amid the most violent conflagration of our contemporary history.

Dramatic Structure, Space and Time

Ay, Carmela! It is subtitled by the playwright as an elegy of a civil war that has composed in two acts and an epilogue, because the latter need dramatic conflict is not limited to the reconstruction of the evening that ended with the death of Carmela. Clearly the elegiac tone of this dramatic composition of this weeping over the death of Carmela.

The stage of the work shows an empty and desolate theater, but also, and above all, a space that will become, by art of playwriting Sanchis Sinisterra, in a magical space and “wonderful” where, through the fictional story of Carmela and Paulino, you want to engage the viewer emotionally and intellectually, to a reunion with the historical memory of dignity, a reunion where the vulgar and the sublime are combined, tenderness and pathos, the ribald humor and intelligent irony, emotion and reflection. Because the coarseness and vulgarity frequent dialogue between the two characters, easy humor, is no obstacle to reaching Sanchis Sinisterra achieved through the dramatic situation, the most sublime pathos. Thus, the apparent superficiality of the work does not hide, but paradoxically, helps to highlight the complexity of this dramaturgical theater of emotion and reflection, high quality literary and stage a play featuring two characters as vulgar as Carmela and Paulino.

True to its dramaturgical conviction that nothing is neither unequivocal nor unidimensional, Sanchis Sinisterra structure the work through a network of dualities, as we shall see, affects not only the realistic or plausible argument-elements and fantasy elements or inverosímiles- but also time and space, the characters and the audience. At the time, there is a clear distinction between the reconstruction of the night of the evening -half hour before starting this, in the first act, and shortly before the start and see until the end of the tragic way it does in the second one act and meetings, days after that evening, between a survivor Paulino and Carmela just died-two dialogues in the first act and all the epilogue. This treatment time produces a very clear contrast between the dynamism of dramatic action in the first case -the veiled, characters pressured by time urgency and the imminence of the event, and the absence of dramatic action in the conventional sense -the second appearances Carmela days later. Because now everything has already happened, no expectations and, therefore, the dramatic action takes place through a slow tempo, a morose and static dialogue.

In space, there is a verbal space built by the Word of the characters and refers both to a very precise geography of our Spanish civil war as an imaginary geography beyond the possible landscape there after death . But there is not only verbal duality in this space but there is a turn-the extra-scene physical space in which we can also differentiate itself -the scene of Goya Theatre stage and backstage, which is supposed to manage the jukebox Gustavete and also, of course, the room where the public, formed by the fascist military and foreign prisoners sentenced to death and the cabin where Lieutenant-headmaster is is. Duality, in fact, also reached the same characters, as both Carmela and Paulino are present and others absent even though participating in the dramatic action -Gustavete by the sound and Lieutenant Ripamonte, whose stage presence is achieved through an intangible element as the lights. Finally, the public also has a dual presence, as one is the real audience attending the representation of Ay, Carmela! Sanchis Sinisterra -we spectators and another is the fictional public, the assistant that evening, consisting of fascists and sentenced to death in the International Brigades military. These dual oppositions are not, however, rigid and unyielding, because life and death are alike, the times are mixed, as well as the public, the real and the fictional, humor and pathos. However, the maximum of this whole network of dualities mediating factor is the crossroads of theater as reality and desire, metatheatrical area where fiction than reality, where everything is possible to happen because anything can happen in a theater and precisely because it is a theater, a physical space where it is perfectly logical, as the logic of art and in the words of the playwright, which is perfectly logical and possible that a dead an apple or quince coma.

Sanchis Sinisterra not waiver here the bastard origin of their dramaturgical material to the elements of the tradition of vaudeville theater -casticismo and Andalusian folklore dances and songs of the most rancid and topical españolismo-, which are represented in the rough show the Evening in the second act: on, the pasodoble “My pony”; a parody of fascist rhetoric; the allegorical patriotic dance Two peoples, two bloods, two victories: the romance of Castilla fascist arms of Federico de Urrutia; the pasodoble “Sighs of Spain”; the vulgar and tawdry magic number of teacher Pau-li-Ching; Ascension duo Joaquin popular zarzuela The bunch of roses or, lastly, the final dialog titled Dr. Toquemetoda magazine, in which mocks the Republican flag is made and spell doom. Play within a play, then. But with all this bastard and commoner noblest materials are other literary references, as a tribute to Federico García Lorca-a symbol or antifascist quotes Cesar Vallejo, the great Peruvian poet.

The two acts and epilogue begin the same way: Paulino alone on the stage of a dark and empty theater as soon locate the scene of the Goya Theatre Belchite. In the first act that empty scene is populated only by a few objects (an old jukebox disc, burned half republican flag, loaded all a sense that we will reveal progressively in the course of the dramatic action. Paulino, the see the flag, hums a Republican song and then do a display of their skills pedómanas while reciting the opening lines of a fascist romance. A scenically blanquecida light indicates the presence of Carmela, just died. That white light illuminates, thus The stage area where mastered the art of dramatic fiction, where everything is possible, where possible, for example, the encounter between a newly dead and a survivor of the war. Al spell of memory and desire is possible, dramatically as possible, a meeting Paulino rationalist causes bewilderment and frustration but ends up accepting as “natural” and even desirable.

Also in the second act the same situation is repeated, though Paulino has again break the momentum of the disk, it contains and manages the order to operate the jukebox, where the song Ay, Carmela! Sounds An empty theater in his monologue, is the setting for strange things, tricks show, fantasies, and if I go back occasionally to the theater, is not for anyone to play with me to make cheap magic, or ghosts, or … A dark and empty theater, stage of imagination and memory, where the will of Paulino reunited with a lost Carmela and where through the white light, acquire stage presence, as the character is done in say the epilogue, and very near the end dark, visions of Carmela, that is, his memory of the executed soldiers. And while Carmela teaches such fighters of the International Brigades to correctly pronounce the name of Spain, the final victory reaffirms dimension of theater as a stage of memory and fiction.

Therefore, the performance space is the stage of the Teatro Goya Belchite, but that white light fiction also illuminates a masterful treatment of time of dramatic action, ranging from present-March of 1938 and the memory of that evening previous held loosely, it is assumed that a few days earlier, in that same place.

Paulino comes, in effect, to the dark and empty stage of the Teatro Goya Belchite perhaps to evoke that evening recently held in that same space, the scene of the death of Franco Carmela by soldiers who were the exceptional public of that singular representation. Paulino, during its dialogue with Carmela in the first act reminds militants last night, the other night, here, when we function (p. 7). And soon after, a sudden thought assails him and begins to act rashly to end standing on the stage, facing the audience. Once there, close your eyes and clenches his fists, as if wishing very hard and finally adopts an attitude of cheerful presenter (p. 8). Clearly Paulino, invoking the powers of the theater, is looking forward very intensely reconstruct that evening, and, of dramaturgical art, dramatic action time to stand back half an hour before the start. Thus, since its “dialogue” with a lieutenant-dictator of scene expressed through light changes to babble fearful of the same character without stage presence with Carmela he has been addressed to ask him to slow down a little the beginning, Paulino memory reconstructs some preparations for theatrical art of fiction, scenic charge life. And again the scene an empty time remains sharply while the dark (pg. 15) is made. Again the white light illuminates the darkness of the empty stage and allows us to see Paulino sleeping on the floor, curled (p. 15). Carmela, with loving compassion, tenderly also -because Ay, Carmela! He is a passionate and tender love story in which the characters love each other, are jealous, discussed and need in spite of everything, is covered with the Republican flag from going into cold after a chilling monologue about the feelings of -the fatigue life and the pleasure of sleep, poverty and class consciousness, envy and anger, fear and grief, the pleasures of sex-and insensibility of death, listening as Paulino is removed and mumbles a few words in his sleep, because the survivor is dreaming aloud (p. 16) and his nightmare translates the anguish of his memories and a sense of guilt over the death of Carmela. Paulino wakes up from sleep and is back to Carmela after, ie, awake to be aware that dark and empty stage in which it is a curious place because of things … Carmela obviously look at the scenario and the room, that is, looking at us with complicity to us, spectators, to agree from experience that if the things … (p. 17) Paulino after Carmela race out the illuminated region of the base and off, for Therefore, the white light, contemplates scared, how suddenly the scene is brightly lit while begins to blare the pasodoble “My Jaca” (p. 23). The wonders of fiction Paulino determine the attitude that is immobilized, watching the lights and the room. He rubs his eyes, head and gropes, before it goes out of his stupor, the curtain falls quickly (p. 23). Ay, Carmela! Sanchis Sinisterra is therefore a practical demonstration of the things that can happen … in a theatrical setting, in that encounter here and now among some players and some spectators, and specific root essence of drama.

The second act is, in the treatment time, reduced complexity. In his monologue Paulino evokes, through the song memory and Carmela, brushing gloomy thoughts (p. 24), returns to want her stage presence. But the playwright wanted to ask another metatheatrical trap, because this new meeting comes from a time lag between the characters. Indeed, Carmela comes on the scene with its Andalusian dress and a wide range, parading and dancing gracefully, that is, the day is in the evening, while Paulino is days later. Therefore, the dialogue between them is a series of mutual nonsense. Carmela and Paulino obviously not understood by that time lag, although the precise dimensioning Paulino gradually during the dialogue has gradually entering the situation defined by Carmela (p. 26), that is, in the moments before the start of the evening. On the art of theater we can assist during this second act to the reconstruction of the final preparations for the representation, nerves before his imminent. The dialogue between the characters express the material difficulties to do it, both for her and for him. Finally, lights hit the stage and to the point, the pasodoble “My Jaca” (p. 28) sounds. We will attend the evening as the night was held at the Teatro Goya Belchite, including murder of Carmela, tragic ending that concludes the second act. But naturally Ay, Carmela !, epilogue in which this return to a survivor accommodating Paulino -camisa blue broom under his arm and, at the same stage of the two acts. Only now the “artist” will decorate the empty and dark scene of the tragedy with the flags of Franco’s army and the crucifix, symbol of national Catholicism victorious. In this context, the last meeting between Carmela and Paulino, wearing fascist blue shirt, is a pathetic allegory for the indignity occurs. Paulino, to justify, refers to the historical reality of March 1938, when Franco’s victory seems imminent and evidence. The defeat of the republican army in the Battle of the Ebro, which alluded to the song Ay, Carmela !, has been consummated.

Therefore, treatment time is crucial for the development of dramatic action and, in this regard, it should be emphasized the supremacy of the talks after the evening on the pure reconstruction of the same, except the spell of Paulino placing us half an hour before it in a fragmented first time of the act, it is developed only in the second. However, most of the first act and epilogue, this way of full, put the dramatic action days later, in a present that is the survival of Paulino. This temporal duality determines the dramaturgical complexity of Ay, Carmela !, structurally impossible reductionist interpretations that limit their meaning to the evening and believe, as a part of the attending public performances, that with the death of Carmela’s work has ended . But the epilogue is there, the will of the playwright, and will not unnecessarily prolong the dramatic action, but because it wants to ask first of all a sentimental reflection on ways of dignity on both survival and death.

Carmela and Paulino or dignity and ignominy

Carmela and Paulino are the two entertainers who share its vulgarity, its ignorance and no political awareness. They are mediocre “comedy” genre of a tiny walk, hand to mouth, performing before a popular audience in the most humble theaters and in the most precarious conditions. His dialogues express instincts and feelings, elementally primary, about love, jealousy, sex, war, religion, society, art and politics. Nevertheless, this, full of humor which we will discuss later, vulgar dialogue gets rise from that level to reach slumming, as we will have the opportunity to check, dimensions of pathos that raise the dramatic temperature, a feature characteristic the drama of Sanchis Sinisterra.

In the first act just died Paulino and Carmela, are for theater art. He has a sense of guilt that causes nightmares and she does not share. In his dialogues tenderness of love ‘Do not go to catch cold (pg. 15) are expressed, will tell Carmela as she covered with the remains of the republican flag; jealousy, even now after ‘And that was the type … the open head scoundrel? (Paulino, p.18) -; -A cordial insult wimp, Paulino. The way things are (Carmela, p. 6) – or ‘Why did violent reproach Carmela? (Paulino, p. 21) -. Despite its no political consciousness, they possess an instinctive conscience against the hypocritical moral -Paulino Don Saturnino- and class, in the case of Carmela is justified by their social origin Andalusian -¡Doña Antoñona, monkey face !, say against the chief recalling his childhood and family poverty ration to add An Don Meliton, fond bastard! (P. 15). Paulino, being more aware of the reality of war But, do you know what is a war? Do you have any idea what’s going on out there? (P. 22), referring to the school-prison and frequent “walks” – What did you experience fear flyer with CNT Azaila gave us last night? (P. 14) -and he feels terrified when left voiceless’ Who saves us that we be shot for contempt, eh? Good is these people …! (P. 11). But there is an issue that raises Paulino solemnly and is a key to the meaning of the work: the issue of artistic dignity.

Paulino has a sense of artistic dignity, if any, it may seem grotesque. That artistic dignity of character, social background of petty ex-seminarian studies at the Conservatory, frustrated career as a lyric tenor of zarzuela, leads him to a rigorous awareness of professionalism. For him, the artist, in all circumstances and despite the material difficulties, should try to overcome the scene and try to offer the public the best of his art. Paulino complaints Carmela understood in that circumstance and therefore, in his pidgin Italian, explains Lieutenant Ripamonte that Signorina Carmela is very nervous about doing so: no decor, no costumes, no props, no niente di niente ( p. 9) That dictator scene, artistic sensibility -hágase charge that is very hard for some artists give less than they can give, and give up bad, you know? (P. 10) -, you should understand that we are artists too, though modest … (p. 9), some artists varieties obliged to act so extreme hardship in the Teatro Goya Belchite while dreaming of the Theater Ruzafa Valencia, one of the Spanish cathedrals of the genre. But Paulino has a special “artistic” skills: a consummate pedómano. That “divine gift” -¿Don? You call that … a gift to this ignominy? (P. 11) – he was expelled from the seminary at thirteen and he had to turn in Logrono and Barcelona need to enforce contracts. However, I remember that humiliates him -¡Yo am an artist, a singer! (P. 11) – his sense of artistic dignity. Paulino is taken so seriously this artistic dignity, to claim it for himself, pompous and rhetorically expressed in language that is responsible for devaluing Carmela. For him farts are artistic ignominy and, therefore, from the performance in Barcelona he has sworn that never resort to that ignominious art. For artistic dignity, with angry conviction, reiterated again today, that is, the same day evening, shortly before starting his solemn oath of Barcelona. However, at the beginning of the first act we saw Paulino flaunting their “art” for the precise dimensioning that sounds, now deliberately evoking several farts a trumpet (p. 1). This virtuoso of ignominy recites between farts and while lifting his right arm fascist salute (p. 1), the verses of Federico de Urrutia because his today is not the last of the evening, but this survival thanks to his unworthiness. Because, although neither Paulino or anyone can be required heroism, and even if its right to claim part of the heroism of their own survival, Carmela is a reminder that the price of survival can not be to the indignity. Paulino attitude, its accommodative cowardice, could still be justified by exceptional circumstances, that night of the evening, but Paulino, to survive, is willing to continue sacrificing their dignity.

Indeed, in the second act the preparations and development of the evening are rebuilt.


fotók: Körtvélyesi László


Jaj, Carmela! National Theatre of Pécs & Carlos Rodero [Working Clip]

Jaj, Carmela! National Theatre of Pécs & Carlos Rodero [Trailer]

Show 5 footnotes

  1. An intense theatricallity that makes it universal.
  2. For example, in Hungary 56. We must find all possible parallels to go subtly manipulating the references made to the Spanish civil war so that the Hungarian public unequivocally endorse.
  3. How many Gustavete are there in the history of Hungary?
  4. Who directed these artists? In the foreground, obviously the members of the fascist armies have ordered function. But to us, the real government that does not occupy the same place by chance.
  5. Laszlo Rajk, for example, was in the International Brigades. It is also a character that can be linked after the Revolution of 56.