Victims, executioners and Mothers Courage
The representation of 'Mother Courage' by the theater company Atalaya is a sum of coincidences, which sought or unsought, tell the story of a family during the Thirty Years’ War, just as the company celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Carmen Gallardo masterfully plays Mother Courage. Carmen's grandmother was a widow who lived through the Spanish Civil War and lost three children. Fortuitous casual fact, but that has scored the role of Mother Courage. To add more, the play that takes place during the seventeenth century, is a perfect parallel to the present. Describes the crisis, the struggle for survival and portrays opportunistic and workers, all in a constant battle to achieve a common goal: survival.
The director, Ricardo Iniesta says "it's creepy to verify that the present time is very close to 'Mother Courage'". Brecht wrote the play in 1939 and hoped that in the XXI century the text had become obsolete, but unfortunately, it is now in force more than ever. "Something that is found in such immortal phrases in the mouth of Mother Courage as: "Corruption is our last chance" or "this is war, beautiful source of income".
Iniesta, who besides directing also adapted the original text of Bertolt Brecht, recognizes that this work has not many poetic figures as the company has shown in recent years, but nevertheless, this very fact becomes a challenge: to make the audience feel the same emotion that he experimented when he first read the play. This goal is achieved with a vengeance: through dance, song and the performance quality of the actors, 'Mother Courage' shook the Central Theatre of Seville. Furthermore, Atalaya has chosen to present the work of two ways, connecting the experimental and the conventional theater: as a part of the audience sat in the stands, another part was composed on stage. Thus, the characters mingle with the public and give it the unique opportunity to feel them, smell them, hear their breathing and live themselves into the story. This bet of the company makes a difference between going to see theater and to live the theatre.
Lidia Mauduit embodies the role of Mother Courage mute daughter, Katerina, and paradoxically is the most communicative, human and touching character of the work. The actress also demonstrates control contemporary dance and body language precisely and rigorously. Silvia Garzon plays several roles: Ivette, a prostitute who adds color to the whole scene, a young soldier and a farmer. Her chameleon change is remarkable. Manuel Asensio terrifies the public when represents the Mayor and also thrills the public in his role of chef. Raul Vera, on his behalf, shows a military and strict hand in their papers, and jump from one side to another without causing any confusion in the public. Both sons of Mother Courage, Elif (Raul Sirio Iniesta) and Caracuajo (María Sanz), are an example of how to lose the way, being in a dangerous situation of crisis.
Overall, Atalaya, is a group of Amateurs (from the Latin amator: Who loves), theater lovers and this is reflected in their performances. The play, like life, is composed of "victims, executioners and mothers courage" that are not necessarily terrible murderers or heroes. They are simply people trying to find the greatest degree of happiness in relation to the difficult world that sorounds them.