The emeritus king stars in an updated satire by Dario Fo and Franca Rame: “Explanations, of what?”

“Explanations of what?” it is the last thing that has been introduced in the dialogue of the work cheeky. A warm and already famous phrase that King Emeritus Juan Carlos answered when he was asked last weekend if he was going to explain his behavior. The theater director Santiago Sánchez decided this Wednesday to include it in the evening performance of the show, which has been performed since April in Valencia. He explained it hours before in a cafeteria in the company of actor Juan Gea, who plays the king emeritus, and Jaele Fo, actress and granddaughter of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, authors of the play Mermaids, trumpets and fartswhich has been adapted to Spain and updated in cheeky. “My grandfather would be delighted,” says the 24-year-old relative of the Italian Nobel Prize winner, who died in 2016

Juan Gea finishes the coffee, poses his voice and with a nasal tone pronounces, barely vocalizing: “Explanations, of what?”. Immediately, a diner at the next table turns between surprised and amused. “It is not an imitation, for that Carlos Latre is already there. It is looking for attitudes, walks, a voice to find the character, who also laughs at himself, ”says the veteran performer, who does not stop signing autographs (in and out of Spain) after the success of the series of TVE The Ministry of Timein which he plays Ernesto Jiménez.

In cheeky embodies two characters in one tour de force: the poor mechanic of the Palacio de la Zarzuela who by chance finds himself involved in an attempted kidnapping of the king emeritus, and Juan Carlos I himself, who adopts the former’s features after an erroneous facial operation. It is a satire, a comedy with spies from the CNI, police machirulos, kings who can’t remember ever having worked and blokes who are adept at polyamory. The show, produced by the company L’Om Imprebís, has been a notable success with the public at the Talía theater since its premiere on April 28 (it will remain on the bill until June 5 and will begin a tour of Spain in August).

It is a premeditatedly popular show, which looks for laughter, irreverence, clowning, bizarre situations and criticism of the powerful. “This is the theater of Fo and his wife Franca Rame, funny and political. I think this laugh is hygienic and necessary. Actually, we haven’t changed much from the original, which they wrote about the kidnapping by the Red Brigades of the politician Aldo Moro, assassinated in 1978 because the leaders did nothing to prevent it. Fo wonders what would have happened if instead of Moro a great businessman like Agnelli had been kidnapped; Surely the politicians would have acted, ”says Sánchez. Also Fo used to introduce modifications in his texts based on the actuality of the moment.

In one function, the very particular and repetitive form of a spectator’s laughter caused Lola Moltó, who plays the co-starring role, and Juan Gea to become infected and had to stop the scene for a moment. “The public understood us perfectly and they couldn’t stop laughing too”, explains who before being an actor was a bank worker, until the director Miguel Narros took him from Valencia to Madrid to do theater in the early eighties.

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The public has a great time with the satire, according to what was observed in the function last Sunday. Especially with the winks, gestures and catchphrases of the emeritus king, which most viewers identify with the first, but also with the rest of the show, which has something of vaudeville and has its roots in the old commedia dell’arte Italian, which Fo liked so much, a very popular theater that mixes components from different traditions such as carnival or mime and uses archetypal characters with whom the public immediately identifies.

The director of l’Om Imprebís, Santiago Sánchez; the actress and granddaughter of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Jaele Fo; and the actor Juan Gea, who commissions the king emeritus, on the stage of the Talia Theater.

Santiago Sánchez already staged in 1992 an adaptation of Mermaids, trumpets and farts at the time of the reserved funds and that time with a character who had similarities with the then all-powerful banker Mario Conde. Now, the current situation in Spain has motivated him to return to an author he knew in life and of whom he keeps the memory of a person who was always joking, with a playful and critical sense of life.

The binomial formed by Dario Fo and Franca Rame is one of the benchmarks of the company L’Om Imprebís. The first staging of its director, Santiago Sánchez, in 1982 was Accidental death of an anarchistone of the landmarks of the theater of the second half of the 20th century.

The memories of the granddaughter and head of the archive of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, together with her father, Jacopo, are of a grandfather who got up very early to paint and work and who read the press with help at the end of his life, when He lost part of his sight due to a stroke. From his grandmother, who became a senator and died in 2013, she recalls his combative, active character, and his phone calls to whoever it was to meet the request for help from some workers.

Jaele Fo, who is rehearsing a play in Rome, knows the general situation of Juan Carlos I from the information that has been published in Italy, but he was unaware of the details and the novelties introduced in the production that he was going to see last night. She only suggests that his grandfather, in all probability, would not have wasted the opportunity to write about the king emeritus, as he once did about the most powerful man in Italy, the then President of the Republic of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi. . The two-headed anomalous was the title of that political satire, premiered in Rome in 2003 in the midst of great tension due to censorship attempts and numerous telephone threats against Fo, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 25 years ago. The playwright himself and his wife performed the play.

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The emeritus king stars in an updated satire by Dario Fo and Franca Rame: “Explanations, of what?”