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In memoriam

1938. They are 17 years old and are being sent to the front line in the crucial battle in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The boys in La Kompanyia Lliure are making their debut, recalling the tribulations of the Quinta de Biberón divisions based on the testimony of some of the survivors. A tribute.

10/23 debate with the company after the show


 
The Battle of the Ebre was the most decisive of the war, because Franco's troops were unable to occupy Madrid, which was what Franco wanted in order to obtain international recognition for his regime.
The People's Republican Army in Aragon had scattered (April 1938), which is the worst thing that can happen to regular troops because it means that the soldiers panic and run in order to return home. And they execute anyone who wants to get in the way.
According to Negrín (the President of the Republic) there were no loyal military forces between the Segre river and Barcelona, which meant that if the Nationalists had attacked from their bridgehead in Balaguer, they would have occupied Barcelona without any difficulty and the war would have ended a year earlier. But according to Colonel Blanco Escolà, the dictator was an incompetent soldier and an Africanist, and against the advice of his generals, including Aranda, head of the army of Galicia; García Valiño, head of the army of the Maestrat; and Martínez Campos, head of the artillery - instead of occupying the rest of Catalonia (he had already conquered Lleida and the right bank of the Terres de l'Ebre) Franco marched from Vinaròs, where he had isolated Catalonia from the rest of the Republican territory, to Valencia in order to prolong the war.
Franco's diversion enabled the army of the Ebro, which was formed from Republican units destroyed in Aragon, to reorganise. The basis of this new army was the V Army Corps led by Juan Modesto and consisted of the 3rd Tagüeña, 11th Lister and 45th International Hans Khale divisions. To cover the numerous casualties, the raising of fresh levies was ordered on April 13, including the 1941 cohort, which was formed by those who would have been called up in 1941 when they were 21 years old, but needs of the war meant that they were called up when they were 17 or 18 years old. The phrase that they were so young that they were still drinking milk from a bottle - "el biberón" - was attributed to Federica Montseny. Those lucky enough to survive aged prematurely, and they paid a high price in lives. Many of them believed they were fighting for the cause of freedom, according to my father.
Josep Sánchez Cervelló, professor of Contemporary History (URV).
 

cast Joan Amargós / Enric Auquer / Quim Àvila / Eduardo Lloveras / Lluís Marquès / Joan Solé

musicians
violin Oriol Algueró and Ricart Renart / cello Oriol Aymat/Joan Palet / harpsichord and organ Dani Espasa/Marc Díaz / voice Robert González

musical direction Dani Espasa / setting Lluís Pasqual / costumes Alejandro Andújar / make up Eva Fernández / lighting Pascal Merat / sound Roc Mateu and Igor Pinto / video Franc Aleu
 
director assistant 1 Iban Beltran / director assistant 2 Òscar Fabrés / costumes assistant Maria Albadalejo / video assistants Carles Tamayo and Enric Vilageliu / diction professor Pere Navarro-URV / voice professor Xavier Mestres

costumes made by Época Barcelona / finish María Calderón
 

co-produced by Teatre Lliure and Temporada Alta - Festival de Tardor de Catalunya Girona/Salt
 

special thanks to Josep Sánchez Cervelló, Assumpta Montellà, Emma Aixalà, CArlos Latre, Jordi Bonet-Oído and Josep Ferrando

and to the 'biberon' Josep Aguiló, Ramon Arau, Andreu Català, Joan Fàbrega, Pere Godall, Lleó Ferrando, Antoni Guri, Ricard Pedrals, Josep Salvador Pujades, Antonio Roig, Alfons Soler and Jaume Vallès

show in Catalan language
approximate length 1h. 25' no interval

subtitled in Spanish ans English on Saturday at 21:00 from 10/22

10/28 performance accessible with subtitles for hearing impairment people and audio description for visually impaired people

performance recommended by the Servei Educatiu del Teatre Lliure


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