SynopsisEl retablo de las maravillas, “a portrait of the national transgressions of our governments, past and present,” is one of the most unique projects of this internationally-recognized company and has received rave reviews at a great number of festivals. After previously performing La Escuela de los Vicios which is based on the political commentary of Quevedo, Morfeo Teatro now presents this harsh satire based on a selection of works by Cervantes, with his well-known entremés as its centerpiece. Both performances offer up the writers’ critical commentaries about the sociopolitical state of affairs.
In the 17th century “retablos” were a kind of puppet stage which traveling actors would set up in the town squares and, by way of puppets or actors, perform well-known Bible passages and myths. This entremés by Cervantes presents a hilarious satire on the hypocrisies of the Spain of that period. Some actors show the leaders of a town a retablo which is supposedly magic and does not reveal itself to anyone who is low-born or illegitimate. The leaders, to show that they are “well-bred,” pretend to see when they actually do not. At the end of the comedy, Cervantes highlights the bitterness of his message by a surprise ending in which he makes a plea about honesty and virtue.
The stage setting was inspired by Picasso. The set is a reinterpretation of Picasso’s Guernica with the background of the famous cubist painting but without its original characters. The empty room can be seen in three dimensions, and the figure of Cervantes and the characters of his entremés stand out from the powerful rage of their Picassan setting.
Under the management and direction of Francisco Negro, the production has a varied and wonderful cast starring Joan Llaneras in the role of Cervantes. Joan Llaneras, winner of the prestigious award Premio Ercilla de Teatro, has worked with the biggest names of national and international theater, such as the likes of Adolfo Marsillach, Francisco Nieva, Nuria Espert, and Lindsay Kemp.