MARAT/SADE

by Peter Weiss

Introduction

Atalaya has co-produced with GREC one of its most impressive shows yet: MARAT / SADE, by Peter Weiss. In its premiere, on July 17, 2016, it filled the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona for three days, putting the audience on its feet for very long ovations. The only “but”, according to critics, is that it only stayed in Barcelona for three days.

MARAT / SADE is the abbreviated name for the Persecution and Murder of Jean Paul Marat, represented by the group of actors of the Hospice de Charenton under the direction of the Lord of Sade. It is one of the reference titles for twentieth century European theater. Written in 1964 by Peter Weiss, a German author, it depicts the years after the French Revolution, which, due to his language and his vision, is rendered of extraordinary relevance.

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Marat was one of the ideologists of the revolution; co-author of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, representing left wing ideology. The Marquis de Sade, on the other hand, was one of the most controversial characters in contemporary history, whose actions would give rise to terms such as “sadism” or “sado”.

The work is termed as “theater within the theater” as it is interpreted, supposedly, by psychiatric inmates where Sade is detained, with the exception of the prefect Coulmier who embodies the authority and is representative of the established order.

Through Marat his assassin -Charlota Corday-, Sade, Coulmier and the libertarian revolutionary priest Jacques Roux, different positions are presented before the revolution, while the people are incarnated by the chorus of “locos” and by the group of comic singers who, together with the presenter, give the assembly a musical style.

The dilemma of the work revolves around the dialectic struggle between individualism and the collective, between violence and submission, between honesty and corruption.

The work has two languages that have been decisive in the last half century: that of the epic theater of Brecht and the theater of cruelty of Artaud, as well as the emergence of the grotesque of Merjehold-the three exert an enormous influence on the stagings of Atalaya.

The score of songs performed gives the whole assembly a musical air. The theater within the theater stands out in the play’s structure; the audience sits before contemporary actors who embody the patients of Charenton’s asylum, who in turn interpret characters of the French Revolution in 1808. If the protagonists date from 1793, the scenic elements – set design and costumes – could well be from 1808, while the musical composition and lighting – which make up the intangible element – are contemporary. Atalaya seeks to universalize the work, both in time and space, largely ignoring its concreteness. This serves to represent how the dialectical struggles between individualism, which is represented by the Marquis de Sade, and the commitment to collectivity, embodied by Jean Paul Marat, are very relevant today; between the submissive attitude before the powerful part of society and the rebelliousness of the other; between corruption and honesty.

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The Team

Team

  • Author: Peter Weiss
  • Direction, adaptation and dramaturgy: Ricardo Iniesta
  • Composition and musical direction: Luis Navarro
  • Choral direction: Esperanza Abad and Marga Reyes
  • Musical interpretation: Actors and actresses of Atalaya
  • Scenography: Ricardo Iniesta
  • Stage design: Pepe Távora
  • Costumes: Carmen de Giles
  • Characterization and hairdressing: Manolo Cortés
  • Props: Sergio Bellido
  • Choreography: Juana Casado, actors and actresses of Atalaya
  • Assistant directors: Raúl Muñoz and Elena Bolaños
  • Lighting: Alejandro Conesa
  • Sound/sound conception: Emilio Morales
  • Video and photography design: Félix Vázquez
  • Administration: Rocío de los Reyes
  • Communication and Production: Mª Paz López Millón
  • Secretary: Teresa Martínez
  • Distribution: Victoria Villalta
  • An extraordinary illusory game. A bright, sensory show in which a strong emotional component is transmitted onto the viewer. Artistic grandeur is apparent in every element of its execution. The director and cast have done a great job and the result is tremendous: an experience that involves all the senses. Through superb staging, developed in an atmosphere imbued with insanity and astounding musicality, a dance of bodies looms between curtains, which allows for maximum expression. The body is used in a game of lights, shadows and outlines that in combination with the costumes and makeup, makes for an impressive and magnificent performance”.
    Cristina HernándezCoversheet
  • Atalaya is overwhelming, exquisite and fresh. This show is a work that leaves a stamp of pleasure in a way that only an excellent piece of theatre can. The costumes are outstanding”.
    Esther BeltránEl Sol De Mexico (Festival de Málaga)
  • All of the aesthetic elements come together in this masterpiece. We see crazy people become actors with the use of a rich gestural device. Sade leads the game that is very well played by Manuel Asensio. Atalaya continues it’s trajectory with good sense, as displayed by the lengthy applause of the audience".
    Fernando HerreroEl Norte de Castilla (Valldolid)
  • It is worth noting the splendid coordination of the vocals accomplished by the cast, whose physical performance touches on excellence. Silvia Garzón portrays a Charlotte Corday as sensual as she Is tormented. Jerónimo Arenal and Manuel Asensio embellish their respective roles, Marat and Sade, and once more Carmen Gallardo grants us with a memorable performance, instilling comedy into the role of Presenter”.
    Lola GuerreroCorreo de Andalucía
  • Sublin¡me Sade. Inestia imbued the show with his zeal and the result is majestic. Energetic and expressive performaces (Carmen Gallado is fabulous as ever). The characterizations and the costumes are sublime. It is one of his best works this year in terms of strength, text, directing and flexibility”.
    José V. PeiróLas Provincias (Valencia)
  • The result is brilliant. The interpretation of the complex choral music, the soundscapes and the use of poetics in the scenery produce a full, effective and beautiful show. The adaptation stresses the modernity of the show".
    Eva DíazABC
  • An interesting piece of theatre within theatre that elicted devotion from the audience from the very first moment. A magnificient moment for Atalaya, on par with the acclaimed Celestina”.
    Carlos ToqueroEl Mundo (Valladolid)
  • A bold and relevant text that reflects on corruption, the class struggle and power. A groundbreaking montage that explores expressionism vigorously to leave the biggest impact on the audience.”
    TVE1 (Valencia)