A solo main character dwells a house where gathers thousands of ownings. He has the so-called Diogenes syndrome, his mind is weakened by the isolation and the environment is turning every time more hostile. M100 presents in billboards El último apaga la luz (the last one turns the lights off in Spanish) with perfrormances from Thursday to Sunday until June 30.
“Attired in military uniform he gets the imaginary cheers of the crowd who acclaim him because of his empire of nothing, of his collection of collections“
The scenography by Jean Paul Mengin is decisive for this dramatic piece that mixes the circus disciplines with the theater. The spaces crammed with objects of all shapes and sizes show an accumulation detail that generates a depth of scenery worthy of the retouched backgrounds of the Ghibli Studio films. Full shelves, all kinds of appliances, boxes, papers, portraits, clothes, everything is important, everything tells a story of the reification of human experience. And in the middle of this world saturated with information and color, a single man.
Un hombre sin palabras.
The main character of this piece of contemporary theater never gets to have a name. The only sounds that escape from his mouth are the screams that he utters when he stays locked in the bathroom and is unable, no matter how much he writhes and twists, to go out through the small entrance for dogs that has the bathroom door. Confused, with two legs, one arm and the head outside but the rest of the body inside; the protagonist looks around and asks himself which of the hundreds of things he has in his house will be able to help him in this situation? Any. Darkness, train, change.
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Light, little lights, lamp, action. Run fan, up the volume of the radio. We hear “Fly, fly. You do not need luggage. Fly fly”. In a semi-open robe our bearded “clown” receives the wind from the fan and feels that it flies, flies. Or attired in military uniform he gets the imaginary cheers of the crowd who acclaim him because of his empire of nothing, of his collection of collections. Then, listening to old music, he enjoys the acclaim of his imaginary people, maintaining his balance on a great mound of accumulated things, that is, a reportless mass where nothing is in itself, but at the same time each object is part of a synecdoche of signification recurrent: the collection is incomplete.
The danger of collapse increases each time a new item is added to the shelves, which are always insufficient even if there are shelves until they almost reach the ceiling. In order to reach these objects in height, the main character arranges the furniture and elements that are in his way, playing a kind of Tetris with the things of his home to be able to access higher levels of the shelves. The other actor, who is not seen in the entire show until they greet during the applause, walks around the back of the stage interacting with the performer on stage. For example, the clown sits sadly against the wall, a hand comes out of the wall and hands him a handkerchief that he receives gratefully. Also, the naked hand is a puppet, which is peeking from the top of the refrigerator, to offer varieties of tea to the protagonist. The silent dialogue between actor and hand is hilarious when in the second attempt the tea is again rejected and the hand is dismayed and doubting what flavor to offer next.
Using words from Charly García, the main character spends the day going from bed to the living. The audience is finding answers that give meaning to the staging, in this way in the darkness of the seats there are a hundred narrators constructing the story of a man and his syndrome, the endless of basic needs that the lone can contort and do pirouettes that amaze for their ability to maintain balance. Is not that a superior sense of art? Perform the artistic work even if there are no spectators, do research during periods of isolation. If you can not go through the door of your bathroom, how can you ask him to go through the door of his house and show his skills before the audience? Be careful, the train is coming. The first car takes stability and the last one turns off the light.
Directed by Andrés Labarca -who is also the main character- the company Ni desnudo ni bajando la escalera presents Jean Paul Mengin and Labarca in El último apaga la luz in the Patricio Bunster space of the M100 cultural center, as part of the circus special Charivari, from Thursday to Sunday until June 30.