El Góngora hosts ‘Aguirre’ in Córdoba, a play about one of the most reviled characters of the conquest of America


Based on a text by Paco Bernal from Córdoba, T&T Creaciones takes ‘Aguirre’ to the Teatro Góngora in Córdoba on Friday at 8:00 p.m., a play that, in the context of the conquest of America, focuses on one of its most reviled characters to show the dark side of that epic: the megalomaniac Lope de Aguirre.

As indicated by the Municipal Institute of Performing Arts (IMAE) in a note, under the direction of Pedro Hofhuis, three actors –José Carlos Cuevas, David Mena and Adriana Cura– give life to a dozen characters to revive before the public the final scenes of the cruel conquistador, whose figure will claim, centuries later, Simón Bolívar in the framework of American independence.

On stage, Lope de Aguirre finds himself surrounded by the soldiers of the Spanish empire, who have finally hunted him down. Next to him, the only company he has tolerated in years, his friend Pedrarias and his daughter Elvira. Aguirre will face the ghosts, fears and betrayals that have led him to a small cabin in Barquisimeto, surrounded by the powerful Spanish army of Felipe II who seeks to execute him.

The author of ‘Aguirre’ describes him as an “intriguing, tyrannical and liberating” man. Sick of the absolute value of honor that prevents him from forgetting a single offense and giving up revenge, Aguirre, paranoid bordering on psychopathy, easily kills friends and even half-hearted followers. 72 murders are attributed to him, directly or by his order. He distrusts everyone and sleeps dressed and armed. He borders on madness considering himself a chosen one founding a new dynasty.

But he is also a man who fought an entire empire face to face; he is the wrath of god challenging Felipe II himself and History from a lost meander of the Amazon. “It is a descent into hell. A heart of darkness,” Bernal said, after considering that he “in his own way, he asked for justice.”

For the director of the show, ‘Aguirre’ is an opportunity to show the public those other 16th-century Spaniards who, unlike Cortés, Pizarro or El Cano, did not find themselves favored by fortune, and their time in the New World, a painful wandering from which they obtained a miserable benefit. For them, the ambition for power, gold and freedom that the conquest brought about generated a social disease that led many men to go mad with obsession. “Lope de Aguirre is the sick face of the conquest, the least visible”, the director of the show has stated.

The staging frames the action in the South American jungle where the undergrowth does not allow reality to be seen, an absolute symbol of Lope de Aguirre’s delirium, of which he shows the cruelty, but also his human side, his need for power and his desire for freedom. .

It is, the company from Malaga has highlighted, a “current and risky” staging, which aims to raise very clear questions that each viewer must answer with complete frankness: “How far are you willing to go in exchange for an ideal? Does the end justify the means? Can freedom be achieved in exchange for destruction?” ask the creators of ‘Aguirre’.

El Góngora hosts ‘Aguirre’ in Córdoba, a play about one of the most reviled characters of the conquest of America