Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

The Influence of British Directors on the Fundación Siglo de Oro and its Productions of Early Modern Drama, 2007-2021

Simon Breden

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2022.37.02

Abstract

The Fundación Siglo de Oro –formerly Compañía Rakatá– has been staging Spanish Golden Age and Elizabethan theatre since it was founded in 2006. Over this time, the company has developed an identity associated not only with its staging of early modern drama, but also with the influence of a series of contemporary British theatre practitioners on its rehearsal process. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy constants in its work is a fruitful series of collaborations with British stage directors, beginning in 2007 with Laurence Boswell directing El perro del hortelano (revived in 2014), in 2009 Fuenteovejuna, and in 2015 co-directing Mujeres y criados with company founder and producer Rodrigo Arribas. While, at first, we can ascribe this collaboration to the impact of the Royal Shakespeare Company Golden Age season, curated by Boswell, which visited Madrid’s emblematic Teatro Español in 2004, the company have continued to seek out British directors including Tim Hoare on Don Juan en Alcalá (2016) and Trabajos de amor perdidos (2016), and most recently Dominic Dromgoole on a new production of El perro del hortelano (2021). This latter partnership is also the culmination of a collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre which saw the company take part in the Cultural Olympiad with Enrique VIII (2012) and become the first company to perform Lope de Vega in Spanish at the London theatre, with El castigo sin venganza (2014). There has therefore been a clear exchange of ideas between Spanish classical theatre and contemporary British theatre practice. This article proposes to explore the methodological contributions of British directors to better understand how this has altered the in-rehearsal perspectives on the Spanish Golden Age to explain the benefits of this Anglo-Hispanic collaborative approach to the company’s work. This will be supported by an interview with Rodrigo Arribas, whose constant presence as founder, producer, actor and most recently as director can help us to understand the contributions made by Boswell, Hoare and Dromgoole to the company’s rehearsal methodology.

Keywords

Fundación Siglo de Oro; Rodrigo Arribas; Golden Age Performance; British stage directors; rehearsal methodology

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2022.37.02

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