To end the Jewish question (Serlo o No para acabar con la cuestión judía) by Jean-Claude Grumberg dramaturgy and directed by Josep Maria Flotats
Two neighbours often meet on the stairs landing. What might happen when one finds out on the Internet that the other one is Jewish? A comedy by one of the most tragic French comic authors of his generation, directed and performed by Josep Maria Flotats.
Yesterday Begoña and I have had the opportunity to go to the Teatro Español to see To end the Jewish question (Serlo o No para acabar con la cuestión judía) by Jean-Claude Grumberg dramaturgy and directed by Josep Maria Flotats. For quite some time, we had not gone to a theatrical play, and it was well worth. We liked it a lot and enjoyed it very much.
Josep Maria Flotats writes in the programme:
I am very happy to offer our audience the opportunity to discover Jean-Claude Grumberg, a great playwright, renowned and recognized –over thirty five plays (eight Molière awards, a César award, and a prize from the Académie Française), all successfully premièred in France and around the world – but not yet performed in Spain. In August 2013, at a lunch in Saint Germain, Jean-Claude Grumberg offered me the text of Serlo o no [To end the Jewish question] hot off the press, when it had not yet even reached the bookstores. Late in the afternoon on the same day, I said I wanted to stage the play and that I would do so in October 2014. For reasons that are not relevant here, it couldn’t happen. Later on the play premiered with great success at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona last November in Catalan, and, now, in September 2016 at the Teatro Español in Spanish Castilian. Serlo o no is a work based on a pretext which consists of conversations between two neighbours on the same staircase, with contradictory attitudes, knowledge and beliefs. And in the course of these discussions, there is a palpable underlying theme of identity, as suggested by the verb in the title: collective, and above all personal identity, and tolerance. Those are a recurring theme throughout the work of Jean-Claude Grumberg, which – while anchored in the immediate present – always evokes historical memory to highlight the violence and the absurdity of the present. Political theatre from a comic perspective. This can be seen in the trends in today’s drama: plays are being written once again not only about politics, but instead directly about politicians, as Justo Barranco so aptly pointed out in his article in La Vanguardia on 27 February. In the work of Jean-Claude Grumberg, in the same way as modern representational painting learned a great deal from abstract painting, Serlo o no is a work that has learned much from the theatre of the absurd and has surpassed it after having been enriched by its experience. By means of an incisive dialogue between the two characters and using an irresistible and extremely intelligent humour, Jean-Claude Grumberg makes us consider the most important issues in the human condition: our ethical, social and moral commitment to ourselves, to everyone, to language, culture and history. Where are we from? Who are we? What are we?
The play will be on stage up to 13 November 2016 in the Teatro Español (Main Hall), Plaza Santa Ana, Calle Príncipe 25 (Madrid), Tuesday to Saturday at 20:00h,Sundays at 19:00h. Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes (Approx.) no interval.
Pour en finir avec la question juive by Jean-Claude Grumberg. Translated from the French language by Mauro Armiño / dramaturgy and directed: Josep Maria Flotats / setting: Alejandro Andújar / lighting: Albert Faura (a.a.i.) / music play: Dani Espasa / director assistant: Pep Planas / second assistant director: José Gómez-Friha / set up made by Neo Escenografia SL / coat design: Goretti / hairdresser: Toni Santos / cast: Arnau Puig and Josep Maria Flotats / co-produced by Teatre Lliure and Taller 75.