Lorca's travelling theatre in Andalucia

Added drama

Living in or visiting a rural location shouldn't mean missing out on cultural events and life with a touch of added drama. High in the Alpujarras mountains of Andalucia can sometimes feel a little cut off from the real world - even raw and untamed beauty needs an occasional taste of high drama and the wonderful smell of greasepaint. Earlier this month we were treated to a little bit of Lorca - brought to us by the travelling theatre company known as La Barraca, and it drew a standing ovation!

Theatre truck

Lorca - a firm favourite

Our recent cultural week in Murtas brought many activities, and more importantly, people, together from all over the area and further afield for a week of fun and sunshine. One of these, a night at the theatre, was my absolute favourite - La Barraca - they had me at the mere mention of Federico García Lorca! This week happens to also be the anniversary of his death at the age of 38.

Lorca play

La Barraca

The big idea behind La Barraca was that Lorca wished to bring the spectacle of theatre to the rural villages of Andalucía. Since 1932, they have arrived in outlying whitewashed villages, throwing together stage sets and transfixing locals with poetry, song and laughter. Lorca was himself director of the troupe for four years, with 200 performances under his guiding leadership before he reluctantly left - his legacy remains today,

Cast and crew

We were to be treated to a night-time production of The Shoemaker's  Prodigious Wife or La Zapatera Prodigiosa a play first penned in 1930. First we - the whole village -  ate paella with the cast and crew and chatted to them as they assembled the stage for later. They wear 1930's dress when they arrive and work and travel by an old bus, modelled on the 1932 original. Their whole aim is to promote travelling theatre and the Spanish stage, and they are passionate about it.

Lorca actor

The performance

Later on, as the moon rose high above the village plaza and the church bells struck 10, the curtain went up and we enjoyed a memorable performance. The heartiest laughs were on the arrival of the character of the village Mayor, complete with pig mask, fat belly and trotters, the richest man in the fictional village...!

Lorca play

Lorca play

Songs and poems, flamenco moves, laughter and a little sadness made up the story, the village characters didn't seem to be too far removed from our own - young and old enjoyed and applauded loudly.

Lorca play

As the red truck drove away the following morning with the waving cast and crew of the fabulous La Barraca- there weren't too many dry eyes in the 'house' - please come back soon!

theatre truck