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Albert Boadella, as seen by César Oliva

"Boadella has never hesitated in manifesting his opinions on policy, culture and scenic art, and thanks to this, it would be possible to write one of the most lucid summaries on Spanish theatre going from the Franco dictatorship till the present". It is with these words that Milagros Sánchez Arnosi describes the personality of Albert Boadella in her "Introduction" of Ubú president, La increíble historia del Dr. Floit & Mr. Pla y Daaalí (2006). This book happens to be the first suggestive and paradoxical element of the theatrical production of the catalonian author. On one side, it is composed by three theatrical texts written by the him, which confirms his condition of dramatic literature author who has always written from and to the scenario, proclaiming the superiority of the represented theatre over read theatre. But on top of that, this publication is included in the collection Letras Hispánicas, together with authors like José Martín Recuerda, José Sanchis Sinisterra or Jaime Gil de Biedma, just to mention three whose work could not be further away from each other.

Thus, Albert Boadella by applying an extremely interesting creative process, is by his own right a dramatic author apart from being the director and funder of El Joglars. A dramatic author who will be studied more; at least in universities, and if God and the Internet do not prevent it; for his work as man of letters than his work in the scenarios. This would not be awkward because since some time ago it is possible to note a strange metamorphose in the catalonian group: going from a mimic point with unspoken theatre (El Joc) to a theatre of words. Although words that are different, weighted, beyond the aesthetic-poetic claim of the average playwright. Precise words, managing the absurd element which is overpassed in intention, and carriers of healthy humorous mechanisms.

But obviously, Boadella's personality goes beyond his texts. This is what will remain for the teather public and theatre scholars. Since the beginning of El Joglars, risk has been the rule. With Franco everything was clearer, the enemy defined itself. Even during the political Transition, which still maintained some habits and traditions of the dictatorship, fighting against the establishment was a common thing in the people of good. Nevertheless, this has become harder. Democracy followed, freedom, pacts, transactions, new and old autonomies, the problems with the historical memory... Everything has changed. Comercial theatre has ended up relegated and fighting for subsistence, public theatre now occupied all the spots in Spain, groups have transformed into companies, companies that are dependent on things other than the public. Everything has changed.

Many of us do not understand all these changes, but at least we still have a mirror in which to look. Albert Boadella still remains in this media. EL Joglars had to move from Barcelona to the dome in Pruit, from there to El Llorà estate, from the masía to the cities and towns where the arrival of the group is a matter of festivity, the big day of the programme. And without leaving his home, the home of all those that compose El Joglars cooperative, Albert has reached an unexpected destination: Madrid. I have just mentioned that many of us cannot understand all these changes, but I believe that in Albert's attitude, theatre is always present together with the wish of evolving, of searching for risks. Because regardless of the problems, his point of view has never changed. His position of criticism, non-conformity, and restlessness. Context may have changed, but Albert is still a follower of Lecoq, who can say much more with simple gesture than with one hundred words. It is really worth it.  

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – Spain
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