Pere Arquillué: “I am neither a star nor an artist, but a guy who does secular masses” | Culture | EUROtoday

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Black shirt and pants, additionally black sneakers. Alone on an empty, darkish stage, standing with a single highlight illuminating him. Pere Arquillué (Barcelona, ​​1967), probably the most highly effective actors on the theater scene and with a protracted profession filled with nice characters, is now premiering in Spanish (in Catalan he has carried out round 70 performances) a piece with a protracted title, The most lovely physique that has ever been discovered on this place, a textual content by Josep Maria Miró with which he gained the National Prize for Dramatic Literature in 2022. It is a monologue wherein the actor offers voice to greater than 11 “souls” —he prefers to speak about souls and never characters—, in an excellent and disturbing work directed by Xavier Albertí. The efficiency is carried out on the Teatro de la Abadía, in Madrid, from final Thursday till the 18th. The interview takes place the morning after the overall rehearsal on the theater.

Ask. The present ends and also you appear devastated. Is that so?

Answer. It is a really, very demanding perform and never solely on a bodily stage, but additionally on a stage of focus and spirit. The soul strikes loads and I find yourself exhausted, however, on the similar time, it’s a very therapeutic work. It's a tiredness that lasts little or no, I’m going via the bathe and I'm like new.

P. After a 40-year profession, he says that the premiere of this work is the worst he has ever skilled. Why?

R. The textual content and the concept of ​​staging aren’t solely very demanding, however they indicate a really brutal duty as an actor. The premiere was very onerous for me, but additionally comforting and rewarding. The stress I had was such that, after ten minutes of being on stage, I assumed I used to be going to break down on the ground. It had been a few years since I had felt one thing like that.

P. It is a textual content filled with uncertainties. What did you discover in it after they gave it to you to learn?

R. The first time I learn it, it hit me onerous. It is uncooked, however with an amazing poetic elevation and this combination that’s like touching heaven and earth left me damaged. But, above all, what I felt was an unlimited need to say it. It occurs to me typically, not many, that once I end a textual content I get an amazing must put these phrases in my mouth, to cross them via my physique and transmit them.

P. It is a monologue that offers voice to eleven characters of various ages and sexes, some alive and others useless. You choose to speak about “souls” slightly than characters, proper?

R. I'm not a way actor, I'm extra of video games, extra Mediterranean. I choose to play and never really feel a lot psychologically. More than embodying characters, I attempt to discover their soul, their breath. And this textual content supplied me an incredible alternative to work on all that. With the smallest gesture I attempt to give the viewers the potential for ending constructing these characters which can be on stage.

The actor Pere Arquillué at the Teatro la Abadía, on February 1, 2024.
The actor Pere Arquillué on the Teatro la Abadía, on February 1, 2024. INMA FLORES

P. Alone, with nothing on stage, barely shifting and a highlight shining on him, with a protracted and disturbing textual content. Doesn't it make you need to run away?

R. Every day I need to go to Andorra earlier than happening stage. And with the years worse.

P. What instruments does one use?

R. It doesn't have any magic. It means attending to the theater first and beginning little by little to let the rain of this textual content arrive and soak the physique inside and that's it.

P. It had been some time since I met Xavier Albertí. How was the reunion?

R. Great. We have been buddies for a very long time. Xavier is a sensible man, he’s a person who is aware of many issues and never solely about theater. He has a really particular sensitivity. Not solely is it a pleasure to work with him, however for me it's like going via a mechanic's workshop, the place he adjusts the connecting rods and the carburetor a bit of and also you come out extra tuned and prepared.

P. It is a journey to the atonement of sin, wherein themes similar to need, ardour, and abuse emerge. Is poetic magnificence important to confront these points?

R. It is among the nice methods to confront these points. I don't suppose it's the one one, however it’s a essential software. What makes the theater have a purer and extra primal which means is that poetic span and elevation that’s discovered on the stage.

There is one other very screwed up factor within the theater and that’s that every single day at eight within the afternoon you must do magic

P. What is an actor's greatest concern on stage? Does he get higher with age?

R. It isn’t relieved, quite the opposite. Now, the largest concern I’ve is the attention of realizing the place I’ve to go and never realizing if I’m succesful. There is one other very screwed up factor within the theater and that’s that every single day at eight within the afternoon you must do magic. It's eight o'clock irrespective of how you might be.

P. The most lovely physique that has ever been discovered on this place It pays plenty of homage to the occupation of an actor. Do you’re feeling that means?

R. Yes Yes. It is a present with two faces. It's toxic and rewarding on the similar time. It is a continuing struggle daily in order that the system doesn’t dismantle and also you arrive clear and as pure as doable to that place you need to attain. But, alternatively, it offers plenty of which means to the actor's work. It is the physique, the voice and nothing else and that is principally theater. You discover as an actor that you may undergo numerous registers, female and male characters, dwelling useless, young and old. It is a captivating compendium.

P. He has carried out about 70 performances of this work in Catalan and right here it premieres in Spanish. Is it like dealing with a unique work?

R. Going from Catalan to Spanish and from Spanish to Catalan I’ve achieved all of it my life, however very curious issues occur to me. The very first thing, for instance, I launched Cyrano in Catalan after which I did it in Spanish. When I did it in Catalan I used to be moved by some passages and once I did it in Spanish I used to be moved by different passages. This exhibits the significance of the language itself, the dwelling language inside the physique. I don't need to get too mystical, however it’s true that the language vibrates and it has occurred to me with many works. There is one thing to this, as a result of I’m fortunate to talk each languages. And the second factor is that I get older and these adjustments are harder for me.

P. Does theater make you sturdy?

R. I’m incapable of separating life and theater and the extra years that cross, the much less so. When I’ve a job I don't do the rest in the course of the day aside from take note of it. Theater offers you an fascinating imaginative and prescient of the world, but additionally fragility and emotionality. But let it’s clear that it’s nothing particular both. Doing theater for me is like being a carpenter, a commerce. I’m neither a star nor an artist, however an officiant, a man who does secular lots.

I’m incapable of separating life and theater and the extra years that cross, the much less

P. You may say that it isn’t a straightforward theater that you’re on the lookout for.

R. With all due respect, I believe that a lot of the theater that’s achieved in the present day reaches the general public too chewed up. Theater is an eclectic artwork that ought to have the whole lot, however I believe that, typically, we’re a bit of unbalanced. A theater that’s too chewed up, nearly like mush, is being made, typically forgetting the artwork of difficult the viewer in order that they work actively and might increase reflections and questions via not solely the conditions, but additionally the feelings and sensations.

P. Xavier Albertí and Josep Maria Miró have stated that this position wanted a mystical and privileged actor. Do you acknowledge your self in these qualifiers?

R. They love me very a lot they usually know that this requires a major effort they usually thank me on this means.

P. His profession is filled with accolades. Is it one thing that overwhelms you?

R. Yes. Everything have to be assumed in its correct measure. Everything in my life is twin and it's okay to be celebrated in your work and inspired, however alternatively, I'm not comfy with reward. I additionally don't really feel comfy after they scold me, hey!

P. How do you cajole the viewers from the stage?

R. Everything occurs by inviting, by agreeing with him. You have to ask the spectator to return to your aspect and play with you, as a result of theater is play and lucidity. It have to be clear, clear, pure. When you play truthfully, the general public will probably are available in. It all begins from there, though, clearly, we now have our instruments and little methods.

You have to ask the spectator to return to your aspect and play with you.

P. Did you all the time need to be an actor?

R. No. I’m from a small city close to Barcelona and there I began doing newbie theater once I was 14. I used to be the little one of many group. Being an actor had by no means crossed my thoughts, however I used to be on this group till I used to be about 18 years previous. At that age I used to be a little bit of a catastrophe and a mediocre scholar. I didn't need to examine after which I spent 40 years finding out. I attempted within the theater and right here.

P. His daughter Emma can also be an actress. Do you give him recommendation?

R. No. Neither her nor my daughter Irene, who’s a lyrical singer. I’m very pleased with my daughters. We discuss loads about theater. Rather, I ask for recommendation, opinions on sure issues. I discover in the present day's youth fascinating. I attempt to meet generations under mine. Now I'm going to make one Iphigenia of Euripides with Alicia Molina who have to be round 40 years previous. I'm fascinated with on the lookout for little brothers as a result of it actually expenses my batteries. I had a blast.

P. Is the theater the perfect place for social reflection?

R. No, not the perfect. There are many. The theater is an excellent place, however not the one one.

P. Just a couple of days in the past, on this similar situation, the voice was raised for peace and freedom within the face of threats of censorship by Vox. Do you see darkish clouds on the horizon?

R. Yes, in fact there are darkish clouds.

P. How ought to tradition struggle towards it?

R. Culture should struggle and all the time struggle. Even within the moments after we suppose we’re higher, extra open and freer, we now have to maintain preventing. We must struggle second by second, daily. Fight as spectators, as artists, as thinkers to forestall these darkish clouds which can be turning into an increasing number of evident from starting to reach.

P. What reflection do you’ve gotten on the difficulty of amnesty for Catalan independence supporters?

R. It is a debate that for me portrays plenty of the society wherein we reside. There are numerous positions. I believe the great factor is to have a tendency in the direction of understanding between individuals, not merely in the direction of punishment. Theater additionally serves to replicate on this stuff. To transfer ahead, individuals have to know one another and provides themselves alternatives. We can all the time see issues within the destructive or we will strive to take a look at them extra positively. It is sweet for society to start out from understanding and cause.

P. Do you suppose it’s a measure that may appease Catalan society?

R. Yeah.

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