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

Photos: IMAE

Over a text by Paco Bernal from Córdoba, T&T Creations take friday to Gongora Theater from Cordoba, at 8:00 p.m.aguirre‘, a work 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 relive before the public the final scenes of the cruel conqueror, whose figure will be claimed, centuries later, by 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 se will face the ghosts, fears and betrayals that they have taken him to a small cabin in Barquisimeto, surrounded by the powerful Spanish army of Felipe II that seeks to execute him.

The author of ‘Aguirre’ describes him as a man “intriguing, tyrant and liberator”. A patient with the absolute value of honor that prevents him from forgetting a single offense and give up revengeParanoid bordering on psychopathy, Aguirre 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’s a descent into hell. A heart of darkness” Bernal has pointed out, after considering that “in his own way, he was asking 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 entailed generated a social disease that drove many men mad with obsession. “Lope de Aguirre is the sick face of the conquest, the least visible,” said the director of the show.

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

It is, the company from Malaga has highlighted, a start-up “current and risky” scenewhich aims to pose very clear questions that each viewer must answer with complete frankness: «How far are you willing to go in exchange for an ideal? The end justifies the means? Can you get freedom in exchange for destruction?» ask the creators of ‘Aguirre’.

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