Iconoclasts La Fura dels Baus revisit Catalan theatre’s classic

The Catalan theatre group, internationally famous for their technological, forceful and unusual settings, is preparing their vision of ‘Terra Baixa’, a rural drama from the lat 19th century, written by the naturalist and realist Angel Guimerà. From its first performance in 1896 the play was a great success, even at international level, inspiring operas and movies. In ‘Terra Baixa Reload’ virtual actors appearing on three giant screens interact with the actors on the stage. It was premiered in Catalonia’s National Library.


August 23, 2011 04:08 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- ‘Terra Baixa’ is one of the most popular plays of Catalan classic theatre. This naturalist drama, written by Angel Guimerà in 1896, tells of the doubts, fears and passions of a young working-class woman from a small rural village, oppressed by a conservative society, obliged to marry an aggressive man and at the edge of desperation. It soon became a great success, even abroad. Translated into English as ‘Martha of the Lowlands’ ("terra baixa" literally means "lowland" in Catalan), the Catalan play inspired the opera ‘Tiefland’ by Eugen d’Albert and two films, including Leni Riefenstahl’s ‘Tiefland’ (from 1954). Now, La Fura dels Baus revisits this classical play and adapts it to its very own style in ‘Terra Baixa Reload’, which was premiered last Monday at Catalonia’s National Library. La Fura dels Baus became world famous through its performance in Barcelona’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and consolidated its international prestige with many shows and opera settings across the world, such as in Salzburg, Manheim, Palermo, Paris and Taipei. La Fura has its very own style. It is characterised by the use of technology and metal, by its visual strength, the display of energy on the stage and by the elimination of borders between actors and audience, but between physical dimensions.

‘Terra Baixa Reload’ was premiered on Monday in Barcelona, at Catalonia’s National Library. In this new version of the classic, the iconoclasts La Fura dels Baus were hoping to surprise the audience with their view on the play. The play's setting has three large screens where a film, co-produced by Catalonia’s Public Television, is shown and with which the actors on the stage interact. The new version is directed by Isidro Ortiz and Carlus Padrissa. The play’s main character, Martha, is performed by Marina Gatell. She said that she put a particular emphasis in "analysing the tear" her character represents. In this production, ‘Terra Baixa’ focuses on the interior trip Martha is undergoing and the personal drama she is living into.