Wed. - Fri. 20:00
Sat. 17:00 and 20:30
1 h 35’
In Galician and Spanish. On Saturday night, performance is in Galician
€10 - €29
Hearing assistance via mobile phone
16/12 adapted subtitles
New proposal of the company Chévere (N.E.V.E.R.M.O.R.E.), a true crime scene about an accident of almost 100 years ago that is also a self-ironic exploration of the theater document and an allegory of the construction of the Spanish nation state.
On 26 May 1927, the civil engineer José Fernández-España y Vigil died when the car he was driving fell into a ravine in A Bouciña Redonda, near the village of Rios (Ourense), while he was working on surveying the possible southern route for the Puebla de Sanabria-Ourense railway. According to the official version, the accident was due to limited visibility at night and his poor driving. The truth is that the railway's southern route was subsequently ruled out, and the line was laid through the Central Massif mountains of Ourense, at a huge cost both financially and in human lives. Why was the most expensive and most difficult route of all Spain's railway lines chosen? Why was the most densely populated, productive part of this frontier region left without any rail links?
To answer these questions, the company Chévere adapts the true crime documentary format to the stage, and presents the versions of the story passed down through the generations on a live set. It is an allegory of the construction of the Spanish nation state, as if it were the promise of a train that never arrived.
Show premiered on July 25 2019 at the MIT Ribadavia.
Chévere received the 2014 National Theatre Award from the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The line Zamora - Ourense - Santiago - A Coruña
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
"The Chévere group has put together a splendid work in which reality and fiction are mixed, in which they travel from the past to the present and the future in a dramaturgy with airs of mystery novel and clear denunciations of the functioning of the country. (...) And it has been led by two magnificent performers: Patricia de Lorenzo and Miguel de Lira. The stage is like a set in which recorded or live sequences of a story that is only a pretext, but also a reason to talk about the effects of the gag law, of the forgotten territories, of caciquismo also of the popular narratives that want to tell what is hidden from them. The Lliure is worth approaching."
Santi Fondevila – Ara
" A funny and rascal road movie. This Curva España was timely in 2019 (in full sentence of 1-O) and is now, in the discussed reform on the elimination of sedition in exchange for incorporating aggravated public disorders and keeping intact the arbitrariness of the accusers and the law of hatred (valid to clear out awkward artists and activists): it responds to a way of understanding a society in which privileged ones rule and dispose, whether laws or railways and abandoned airports. ”
Jordi Bordes – El Punt Avui
"The staging is of goldsmith. Chévere combines pure theatre, with two performers and four sets, with live and deferred videos that emulate and parody from a press conference of the civil guard to an interrogation of the judicial police, going through the declarations of the neighbors of Verín or the apocryphal chapter of A fondo, the mythical program of Joaquín Soler in Televisión Española, (...) Technology serves them to provide essential data, to expand the comic face of a grimace or to illustrate a meticulous theatre of objects, constantly revitalizing the scenic textures. (...) Faced with the vertigo of so much curve, one can close one’s eyes and resign oneself to the fateful "Spain and I are like that" of Eduardo Marquina. Or you can get excited theatrically and ask, to paraphrase the Peruvian Nobel, at what point did Spain get screwed? Chévere has an answer worth listening to."
Gabriel Sevilla – Recomana.cat
'Chévere has created this piece taking yet another step in that nonlinear, blended style that this longstanding company has always used and furthering the possibilities of playing with a story not by representing it but instead by offering it from multiple perspectives. The combination of live theatre and cinema, the transition from the theatre document to documentary theatre and the inquiry into the need that makes popular legends like the Curva España emerge all result in an explosively unique show. It is explosive because it inquires into forgotten, marginal territories, like that secluded borderland in the county of Verín, Xinzo, Vilardevós; into the territories of control and censure of diverse, alternative and dissident narratives; into allegorically ascertaining how a nation-state that is still problematic today was constructed. All of this occurs within a very local story that welcomes the voices of anonymous pieces, patches together fictitious pieces with pieces gleaned from popular fiction layered over ‘real’ information, to such an extent that reality is confused with invention and innovation gives way to reality. And all of this is animated by a highly subtle, empathetic comical substrate. Curva España is a bold show that encourages us to play, to make believe and to rethink the ground on which we walk.’
Afonso Becerra - Artezblai
‘An intelligent, honesty, risky piece. Intelligent because it manages to show a play of reality and fiction, of theatre and cinema, along with the familiar document theatre, in the live retrospective of a theatrical documentary. Curva España carries on and surpasses the hybridisation experiments made in the trilogy Citizen, Eurozone and Eroski Paraíso. I find it an innovative expression of ‘expanded cinema’ which seeks the connections between storytelling (legends), nation and state. It is essential to highlight the high degree of honesty of this meta-discursive play, based on respect, for tits subtle staging, its testimonials and even a brilliant autofiction proposal. Curva España is a risky statement of intentions on a fourth power, here turned into the ‘fifth wall’ of the screen, because we accept the possible and observed perversion of the media, which are that repressive apparatus of the state.’
Fabrice Corrons (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès)
‘Curva España, a documentary thriller on the construction of the railway line between Puebla de Sanabria and Ourense and the accidental death of its chief engineer in 1927, rekindles in the spectator questions they asked one day whose answer they are still awaiting. This time Chévere, a company from Santiago de Compostela which specialises in poking its finger in wounds (or eyes, if there is no wound), pirouettes over a tight-rope strung between reality and fiction. In this play, Chévere asks what is true and what is false in any official story, but the audience leaves asking themselves what they have just been told. The colloquium held after the show on Saturday clarified this point and should always be held.’
Javier Vallejo - El País
‘The intelligent humour, sarcasm and approach to a local story with clear national and international repercussions once again conquers Madrid with the performance of the Galician agitation-theatre company Chévere (National Theatre Award, 2004). Curva España wisely mixes the theatre-document and collective memory to construct a local thriller in the guise of theatrical fiction. It is very difficult for the spectators to trace this line separating the real story and the legend forged over 100 years. And this is precisely the genius of a truly interesting show, which gets delightfully and irresistibly wrapped up in a mixture of theatre, recorded documentary and the live projection of what is happening onstage. The show is a pleasure for all the senses, beginning with intelligence, because it uses many data, layers and levels of fiction, and this requires constant attention from the spectators, who cannot let down their guard for the entire 90 minutes that the show lasts. It goes without saying that the production is hypnotic, fun, agile, magnetic, fascinating and a brilliant exercise in documentary theatre set up before the spectators’ noses with undeniable mastery. An absolute must-see.’
José Miguel Vila - Diario Crítico
‘The police genre as a method of finding truth is not too far off from a kind of documentary, and Curva España explores this territory at the intersection of the thriller and document theatre to build a story that offers some truths, some fictions and lots of material to unmask certainties stated out to manipulate. In this labyrinth of mirrors, whose reflections are never reliable, Chévere plays with honesty and humility, leaving the audience in the role of detectives who determine how things are going to play out. It does not meddle with the surprise of the outcomes but shows the processes leading there. Like a good main character in a noir novel, more attention is paid to the motive than to the murder itself. In fact, the engineer España could be called MacGuffin and the story wouldn’t change too much. Nor would history, which is what Curva España is really about.’
Manuel Xestoso - RGT revista galega de teatro
‘Curva España is yet another step towards examining the narrative mechanisms that emerge at the borderland between reality and invention, between screen and stage. […] Curva España is about an apparently unsolved crime, a violent death that sparks suspicion and raises questions about the perpetrators, their motives and the consequences of their act. Based on the existence of different versions of the case, Chévere has woven a piece with multiple interpretations which speaks about the conflicts of the present while looking back at the mistakes of the past. It is a play that draws from the police genre and autofiction, takes an ironic look at the documentary format combining theatre and live cinema, and works as an allegory of the construction of the Spanish nation-state as if it were the promise of a train that never arrives. Because in this distant zone, España arrives in the guise of a myth and the myth talks about his death in a curve.’
Diego Da Costa – CineMagavia
‘With that mixture of irony, tenderness and social criticism that characterises their style, the Galician company Chévere draws from documentary theatre and autofiction—while also mocking both genres—to talk about territorial inequality in the construction of our state and of the empty Spain that is so worrisome today as a result of that inequality. […]With the magnificent Miguel de Lira and Patricia de Lorenzo as the main characters, these two ideas are outlined with dramatic rigour based on a graceful yet playful theatrical game—the popular legend is manipulated to create an original scheme of a false thriller—with elements of object theatre, performance and documentary. Yet despite the underlying critical spirit, the show still has significant, well-timed doses of self-parody.’
Raúl Losánez – La Razón
'The company Chévere reaches the apogee with this documentary theatre show that examines the ‘accidental’ death of an engineer. ‘Ripping the very seams of this sub-genre [documentary theatre], the folks from Chévere have reached the dramaturgical peak. Curva España is brilliant. […] The plot is arranged as if it were a thriller, an investigation into the death of the engineer España that has been reopened. To do so, they sought different vantage points and dramaturgical resources which make the show so appealing. Plus, they don’t get stuck on the level of technical details but are also simultaneously willing to venture into the detective story genre to both make a phenomenal critique of the construction of our state and examine how certain political and business decisions (as a package deal) have determined the pitiful future of some regions. […] Verism becomes an aesthetic of confusion. The more precise one wants to be, the more the shadow of doubt spreads. […] And this is the goal: to make us see all the forces which are involved in history, with their truths and falsehoods, their beliefs and ill-intentioned intentions. The fact of the matter is that here we are; with depopulation in Ourense higher than 30% and in Zamora higher than 40%. Curva España is a clever show full of layers, an extraordinarily intelligent show that treats the spectators with the same intelligence, asking them for an intellectual and aesthetic commitment—and a sense of humour. What more can you ask of a play? Brilliant.’
Ángel Esteban Monje - Kritilo
Miguel de Lira
Patricia de Lorenzo
Leticia T. Blanco
Xron, Manuel Cortés, Miguel de Lira and Patricia de Lorenzo
Xacobe Martínez Antelo
Lucia Estévez, Leticia T. Blanco and Laura Iturralde
Patricia de Lorenzo
Óscar Villán and Iván Suárez
Crémilo Carlos Carbonell