Juan Mayorga has sent me his new works: it is inevitable to wonder if they were written during the coronavirus. Laugh “No, actually I’m much slower than I seem. What happens is that I insist. I have finished the collection during confinement, and there are people who relate it because it happens in a closed space. And he has an apocalyptic look, of gathering objects as if the world was about to end. Sometimes I have a hard time finding the form of the function. Other times, however, you are lucky and the work comes out in a sleepless night ”. With the collection it took several years to think about it. It emerged from an interview that one day he read to an elderly collector couple. And one of them said: “It stands to reason that at our age and childless, people wonder about the fate of our collection.” It took a long time, he tells me, to realize that what was decisive was the issue of inheritance.
Another singularity: The Yugoslavs were published and staged in Serbia and Argentina, but not in Spain. He has a special relationship with her, and that’s why he has rewritten her these days. From the collection there is already a new version “because I also maintain a conflictive relationship, as with other texts of mine. I try not to obey people, but I always listen to them, even critics. Many people reveal things to me about the relationships between characters and situations. I think there will be time for a third rewrite. And there is an English translation, and a project to do it in Argentina, with Horacio Peña and Marcela Ferradás (who made a version of me by Fedra, very free). And to take her to the cinema. Wow, that seems to have interested. Inheritance appears a lot in my works, and I have realized that it is increasingly important to me. Or rather: I care less about the world I am living and more about the one my children will live ”.
Baptizing the characters is very important for Mayorga: the marriage of The collection gave him the last name Gelman, as a tribute to the porteño Juan Gelman, “whom I was lucky enough to read and get to know a little. Without ever saying, I think there is something in this couple of Central European Jews. It is a work that I would like to put on ”.
The playwright was caught by the general break rehearsing a new staging of La lengua in pieces, with Clara Sanchis as Teresa and Jesús Noguero in the role of the Inquisitor, “and we are longing for them to give us the opportunity to retake the rehearsals and premiere. It would probably be in the fall, like everything I tell you. Come on, those would be our wishes. Another very nice experience is Silencio, a piece of mine in which I am lucky to direct Blanca Portillo. Based on my speech at the Academy, which I already wrote thinking it had a theatrical form, a stage nerve. In the discourse I play with not being me, but a friendly actor who plays me because he will do better than me. It is a tribute to the actor capable of creating silences, and even capable of creating beauty from that unforeseen silence that is the target.
The Silence project arose in confinement. Curiously, these months there has been a lot of talk about the silence of our cities, about the value of silence. It is not just a theoretical speech, but an invitation to pronounce silence, and to feel it together in a theater room. We believe that today it may have a certain value ”.
Mayorga is unstoppable: he talks to me about a film project, Among the Trees, that emerged with director Norberto López, with the actors who accompanied him in El Cartographer, which are Portillo and José Luis García Pérez, and together with Cristina Alarcón: “With the four of them, the possibility of filming something appeared in this strange situation for audiovisual people. We are going to try to do it as soon as possible ”.
He concludes: “We have a certain impression that we cannot get out of this anyway. That we have to force ourselves to be even more demanding than we were, with great desire and maximum excellence. We have to offer people something valuable. I very much agree with you when you wrote that column where you said how much you miss the theater: for reuniting with people. Rather than as a playwright or director, I miss him as a spectator. That leaving home, meeting others, and suddenly starting to feel that they give you something from the stage. As you say, there is a company that you lacked: theatrical and human. Of the many beautiful words in our jargon, perhaps company is one of the most beautiful. In the theater we all keep company. We are company. And we are missing. And we have to rehearse hugging. “