Theatrical Politcs and Political Theatrics in Barcelona


In October 1996, Barcelona's Mercat de les Flors, a publicly-funded theatre specializing in international productions, hosted the world-premiere (hors London) of Harold Pinter's latest piece Ashes to Ashes, starring Stephen Rea and Lindsay Duncan. Pinter was also on hand in Barcelona for a series of symposia, productions, and other events surrounding the Tardor Pinter ("Pinter Fall"), a mini-festival within the larger fall arts festival. In effect, the theatre scene in and around Barcelona is as energetic and dynamic today as ever. Throughout the 1990s, the size of theatre audiences has been rising steadily, and recent reports in the daily press indicate that the total number of spectators finally stabilized in 1995 at approximately one million, forty-two thousand. Catalonia has become a place where the exorbitant expenditures on theatre are comparable to the hyperbolic lines of Antoni Gaudi's architecture. It is also a place where, despite the advent of democracy, and perhaps because of it, theatre and politics continue to intersect in crucial and paradoxical ways.

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1997

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1997 Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. This article first appeared in European Stages 9, no. 1 (Winter 1997): 16-20.

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