The reinterpretation of the tragedy, with a text by the playwright from Almería, will land at the Maestro Padilla Auditorium on October 28
Oedipus sleeps, until he wakes up hearing the voice of a strange presence; a man, who, hidden under a metal helmet, begins to tell him about a monster, a city and a reward. Oedipus, suspicious, rejects the invitation of the mysterious knight, who does not hesitate to continue insisting until Oedipus deviates from his path, confronts the monster and, having become king, ends up entering the city of Thebes.
If you are a regular to classical culture, this plot that is introduced will not be particularly unfamiliar to you. This is because it is part of one of the best-known tragedies throughout history, which is none other than Oedipus. Popularized by Sophocles, it has seen behind it a multitude of adaptations, reinterpretations and various reflections on it. On this occasion, a new version will arrive at the Maestro Padilla Auditorium on October 28 at 8:30 p.m.
A work, born in Madrid, but which, in part, is from the house, since it is the playwright from Almería Paco Bezerra, who brings his particular vision baptized as ‘Oedipus. Through the flames’, directed by Luis Luque and embodying the character an exceptional Alejo Sauras.
A look that largely respects the history that is already known, and that will probably form part of the collective imagination of many of those attending the play. However, the magnitude of his words and the transformative nightmare it becomes reveals once again the narrative quality of enacting classics. In fact, the success that the Almeria playwright Paco Bezerra has managed to achieve with this, his adaptation of the Oedipus myth, has not been precisely short. So much so that he participated in the International Classical Theater Festival of Mérida in 2021.
In addition, the work notoriously revolves around sacrifice and renunciation around heroism. Jesus of Nazareth marched into the desert for forty days, and when he returned he returned with a message that changed the world. Buddha silently sat under a tree until he received a teaching with which he enlightened the Asian continent. Moses crossed a desert, climbed up a mountain and, after his descent, founded a new society.
All these ancestral figures and myths have effort, sacrifice and renunciation in common. To be considered a hero, one has to sacrifice a very important part of himself. And not only that, in addition, it has to create something new and prosperous. That is exactly what Oedipus did, who became a myth when he decided to discover the truth to save his people from extermination. The myth is a foundational story that, while, through symbols, explains the order of the world, it also poses a question; a question that points to each one of us and commits us all: Who is the brave person who, today, would dare to continue betting on the truth, despite knowing that this truth could end up harming him? Who is the brave man who, today, would dare to fight for the good of a community, despite knowing that his privileges could be diminished? Who is the brave man who, today, would dare to ask himself, every time he gets up: “who am I and what have I come to this world to do?”.
Yes, these are some of the many and many questions that, since ancient times, this particular story continues to throw at us: Who is the brave man who, today, would dare to be Oedipus?
‘Oedipus through the flames’ is an interesting way to approach this universal tragic myth about the personal search for the truth. Something that also transcends its scenic minimalism, which dispenses with everything that may be accessory or superficial to focus on the essential elements of the conflict. Oedipus must deal with the pain that knowing the truth sometimes entails in order to be able to integrate into the construction of his own personality.
Paco Bezerra was born in El Alquián in 1978. He has a degree in Dramaturgy and Theater Sciences from the Royal School of Dramatic Art and a degree in Technique and Interpretation from the William Layton Theater Laboratory. He has published various plays and has won several awards, among which the Barahona de Soto, the Miguel Romero Esteo award for brief theater (2004) and the ‘Calderón de la Barca’ Theater Award for New Authors for the play ‘In of the Earth’ in 2007, among others. As an actor, he has starred in the short film ‘Ricardo piezas descatalogadas’, directed by Hermanas Rico. Likewise, he has intervened in ‘La nightmare’, by Rafael G. Gosálbez; ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, by Tennessee Williams, or ‘Party Night’, by Harold Pinter. He won the National Award for Dramatic Literature in 2009.
Regarding his particular vision of the work, the author explains that “it has always been said that the myth of Oedipus is the opposite of a successful story of the self; which is the discovery that knowing leads to failure; but what if it were not so and what the myth of Oedipus is trying to tell us is that being alone and blind is the greatest possible success? The Maya Indians had a game in which the losers cut off the head of the captain of the winning team. Yes, long before the figure of Jesus Christ appeared, there was a time when losing your life was gaining it, and losing that life made you a hero. Possibly it is for this reason that, each time, there are fewer heroic examples around us, because the man of before, the mythological, sacrificed himself in favor of the world, while the man of today, the contemporary, what he aspires to is let the world sacrifice itself for him. The individual before the planet.