Pablo Fidalgo Lareo

 

I like theater that threatens the theater, that proposes new orders in human relationships and that demands both to be listened to and intelligence from its audience. More than the texts, I care about writing projects, the materials. I think of theater from that mysterious origin in listening and in song. The poetic and political writing that I demand of the stage must be a physical act, performative. Writing today must create situations which show the truth about language and discourses, that’s why neither the stories nor the constructions are so important, but instead how much truth we are able to embrace, how willing we are to reveal ourselves. I care to know who speaks, from what place and in what situation do they say what they say. To save lives and truths with urgency, above all else.

Pablo Fidalgo Lareo (Vigo, 1984) is author of the poetry collection La educación física (Pre-textos, 2010), chosen by El Cultural as one of the five best poetry titles published in Spain in 2010. In 2012, he won the Injuve Prize for poetry for the book La retirada. His texts have been included in various anthologies, and have been translated into Portuguese, French, Polish, English, and Persian. Since 2004, he forms part of the company La Tristura, which has been chosen by the magazine Ubu-Escenas de Europa, as one of the most outstanding young companies of the world. He currently lives and works in Lisbon, and works with the artists Claudia Dias and Miguel Bonneville.

Theatre works

2006 / La velocidad del padre, la velocidad de la madre: premiered: 2006, Resad, Madrid; published: Pliegos de Teatro y Danza (2007).
2007 / Años 90, Nacimos para ser estrellas: premiered: 2008, El Canto de la cabra, Madrid; published: Pliegos de Teatro y Danza (2008). Injuve Prize for Stage Projects 2008
2007 / Semmelweis: published: Stycomithya – the theater magazine of the University of Valencia.
2009 / La democracia: premiered: 2009, La casa encendida, Madrid; unpublished.
2009 / Actos de juventud: premiered: 2010, La Sala Cuarta Pared-Festival Escena Contemporánea, Madrid; published: Pliegos de Teatro y Danza (2010).
2010 / Materia prima: premiered: 2011, La casa encendida, Madrid; unpublished; nominated for the Marx Award for theater 2012.
2012 / El sur de Europa. Días de amor difíciles: premiered: 2013, Sala Cuarta Pared-Festival Escena Contemporánea, Madrid; unpublished.
All the texts, except La democracia and Semmelweis, have been revised by the author with the company La Tristura.

– O estado salvaxe. Espanha 1939 –

Synopsis: I come from a country without memory, and therefore, without history. The task of those who write today in Spain is to unmake the fiction of the history we’ve been told. A generation of progressive people was murdered or condemned to exile in 1939. After the end of the dictatorship, not only was the wound not healed, but the transition took pains to make us forget. The repression was brutal, and lasts until today. I try to remake and rewrite the history of the losers and the victims of the transition, starting from my own family history, and to analyze the consequences of that silence and that fear. I struggle so that this place that I feel is so my own, Southern Europe (the origin of Europe), doesn’t disappear in the middle of this third world war.

– Extracts from O estado salvaxe. Espanha 1939

Mother,
My first night with you lasted nine months.
Our second night together is the rest of my life.
Li Young Lee

After the disappearance of the mothers the trauma of the second birth.
And what I saw is more than I can bear.
Heiner Müller

My name is Mercedes Fernández Vázquez.
In 1954, I married Manuel Lareo Costas.
Our pasts are well summarized in our surnames.
The common names and the exceptional ones.
I was born in 1929, I am 85 years old.
My husband was born in 1921, he is 92 years old.
In the past three years, my husband has been on death’s doorstep eight times.
Between all of us, we’ve saved him.
My task and that of my children is to project that fragile life with no memory.

I read the newspaper every day.
Four days ago a man killed his sick wife in a town in Galicia.
Both of them were around 80 years old, and she had been sick for some time.
According to her family, she was the best-cared for woman on earth.
They accused him of being an abuser.
Have things changed so much that an act of love
can be confused with an act of violence so easily?
Until I was eight, my language was Galician.
When I came to Vigo, in 1936, fleeing from the war,
my brother only said quero velo mar. We had never seen the sea.
I was forced to forget my Galician and learn Castilian.
I was a good student, but I couldn’t go to university. I was the best student.
In Vigo, everyone knew one another. We had won the war.
I met my husband at a party where we all dressed like sailors.
I was true to him while he went to university in Madrid.
To be true to someone is a phrase that is no longer used, it means to wait for them to return.

Between 1955 and 1965 I had five children.
In that time, it pained me not to have been able to study. I could have gone so far.
My husband also has his own resentment.
The origin of our love was perhaps our resentment and rage toward the world.
I don’t say this to justify myself. Bitterness, rage, and anger unite people.
I am old enough now to be able to say these things.
There’s nothing wrong with loving from rage if we know where we come from.
And if we use that rage to change the present. I didn’t manage to do so.
Within our home, resentment ruled,
my husband’s ancestral disdain for that stupid period.
His surnames ruled before my own
and I could never forget that he saved me from my origins.
He gave me another standing in the world.
My husband was evasive. He never wanted to speak of death.
Not even now, at 92 years old, does he name death.
To love one another for over 70 years without naming death,
without ever once speaking of it, is something strange, isn’t it? (…)

My children are very close, but they fight a lot.
Sometimes I think that when I die everything will be broken.
I think that they will all wind up estranged.
I try to get used to the idea that this family will die with us.
And my grandson tells me no, that I shouldn’t worry,
that the roles are well apportioned in this family,
that everyone has learned their lines and their movements well,
that we form part of a perfect piece,
that conflict is our way of loving one another and of bringing us closer together.
I ask myself if my children were children of a true love, a real love,
or if they were children of need.
We could have a lived a truer life,
less directed, less conditioned.
We pretended not to have suffered the dictatorship
because we always remained in silence
but now that the years have passed I realize
that perhaps we were hurt more than anyone
because we, I say it with humility, have always gone further (…)

And in the end I show my face alone, I ask for forgiveness without anyone asking it of me.
Because we same people always pay for things.
We who were poor in 1939 are so now.
No matter how much we’ve grown, 1939 haunts us.
And although this act honors me I can’t manage to change
the way we have of treating one another in our house.
This work is not useful because it has no real consequences in our daily life.
And sometimes I think that nothing is so serious.
Of my five children, none of them has died nor destroyed himself.
On the other hand, none of them has had a full life.
But we are talking about us, about our basic mistakes.
My husband trusted too much in his ability and he destroyed himself
and out of that was born his deception and resentment.
And the same thing has happened to my children.
Knowledge is not in the university, knowledge lies in adapting to the medium,
in living like an animal, in loving your country and your land.
Only I am aware of my limits,
only I who didn’t go to university, who never completely believed any story,
managed not to live disappointed.
My grandson didn’t go to the university either
perhaps that’s what unites us, him and me, perhaps that’s why we are freer (…)

Three years ago they discovered a spot in my eye.
A sort of cancer, although completely controlled.
I prayed for the sickness not to spread.
They told me that they might have to remove the eye.
I said that if they had to remove the eye, they should do so.
An actress without an eye, that could be good, right?
I’d like to say goodbye to my children.
To beg their forgiveness for having had such a long life.
To thank them for knowing to wait for their moment.
When our parents die, at last we exist, at last we love,
at last we are exception. And everything begins anew.
We have had the luck or the disgrace
of being born in a long-lived family.

The savage state of a child
can’t be measured with his mother beside him
(…)