Posts Tagged ‘ Pau Miro ’

It’s Raining in Barcelona, Cock Tavern Theatre: review

By Pau Miró
Directed by Tanja Pagnuci

The Cock Tavern Theatre does stirling work bringing lesser known gems to a Brent audience. It’s Raining in Barcelona by Catalan playwright, Pau Miró, is no exception. This production, directed by Tanja Pagnuci, is fringe theatre at its best: intense, thought-provoking and simply presented.

We meet Lali, who is a prostitute in the Pretty Woman-mould. She works in the evenings and brings clients back to the flat, where her boyfriend, Carlos, hides under the bed “to keep her company”. Lali is also obsessed by poetry: she hoards sweet wrappers in a shoe box because they have quotations by famous poets printed on them. We meet one client: a bookseller called David, who has been coming to Lali for two years. Very little happens: in fact, this play is more about what the characters don’t do.

Rebecca Herod as Lali is a breathy, petite, bird of a woman who is as transfixed by poetry as the audience are by her. Herod commands the stage – every detail of Lali is so finely tuned that we barely notice the improbability of such a character. Lewis Hayes as her boyfriend Carlos has a less minutely sketched personality and acts more as a sounding board for Herod’s Lali. His tough guy act teeters towards the comic – and if it weren’t for the play’s darker moments, it would be completely ridiculous. But in just over an hour, Herod and Hayes create a believable portrait of a long-term couple.

Sharon G Feldman’s translation can be stilted but then this isn’t a realistic play. Lali and David – prostitute and client – spend their time together painting her nails and reciting poetry. And there’s some heavy-handed symbolism – from the razor Carlos is always playing with to the seagull which squawks at opportune moments. Birds have been symbols for women since time immemorial: but surely the slight, airy Lali should be a more delicate bird than the cumbersome seagull? But Miró’s play – even through the lens of a translation and the distracting homing seagull – is a piece of captivating character study.

Not much appears to happen and yet the audience – myself included – were transfixed. This is a captivating piece of theatre, from a fascinating playwright and the Cock Tavern at its very best.

Until 29 January4Comedy Masks

First published in the Willesden and Brent Times