New show puts spotlight on Tarragona’s Roman amphitheater

From July 27 to August 25 ‘Amfiteatrvm’ will take spectators back 2,000 years to the time of the gladiators

Tarragona amphitheatre (by ACN)
Tarragona amphitheatre (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 17, 2018 05:58 PM

Tarragona in southern Catalonia is well-known for the wealth of its Roman heritage, and in particular its spectacular amphitheater. The city is now aiming to put its ancient Roman theater in the spotlight with a new evening show over the summer called 'Amfiteatrvm.'

Originally presented under the title 'Tarragona Història Viva,' the updated show unveiled on Tuesday uses technology to take the spectator back in time some 2,000 years to follow the personal story of a gladiator, in a production that includes some 50 people on stage.

While 'Amfiteatrvm' will be on every Friday and Saturday, from Sunday to Thursday nighttime visits to the amphitheater include the screening, in English and Spanish, of the episode dedicated to Tàrraco, the Roman name for city, from the TV series ‘Roman Engineering.’

The new activities promoting the city’s amphitheater will begin on July 27 and will go on until August 25. The Tarragona councilor in charge of tourism, Inma Rodríguez, said the initiatives will help boost Tarragona’s profile among the world’s cities with a strong historical heritage.

Unlike 'Tarragona Història Viva', the updated 'Amfiteatrvm' show uses both parts of the arena and involves the use of more technology, such as images projected onto a huge screen measuring 8 meters by 4.5 meters, and the use of some 10,000 lights.

Tarragona was in the media spotlight recently as the host of the 2018 Mediterranean Games, from June 22 to July 1. Despite a generally low public turnout at most events, the organizers hailed the Games a “success,” with record participation of 3,600 athletes.  

The city also hosts the annual Tarraco Viva festival, which over two weeks celebrates its Roman heritage with a series of cultural events. This year’s 20th edition in May almost sold out, with over 17,000 tickets bought and more than 3,000 students taking part in the festival.