Theatre, good theatre that is, has a unique role in society. There is no better instrument to throw reality back at the public, with the well-studied intention of provoking a reaction, whichever that reaction may be. No book, movie or alternative cultural artefact is better equipped to achieve this particular objective.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had the chance of seeing two plays, one by Albert Boadella and one by Els Joglar, Boadella's former theatre collective.
The first one, "El Sermón de Bufón" ('The Jester's Sermon'), was most interesting as an innovative way of portraying a singular genius' unique trajectory. Before watching the play I was embarrassingly unaware of some key aspects of Boadella's CV and his achievements. As I was leaving the building, and seeing through the smaller theatrical details, his stature and cumulative merit acquired a even bigger dimensions in my mind.
The second one, Zenit ("Zenith"), impressed me through its unexpected freshness. I went into the theatre thinking that the post Boadella Els Joglars risked being a significant disappointment. Nothing further from the truth. The play was fascinating, and it connected beautifully with some of the key points made by Boadella himself: the utmost importance of music and visual elements to bypass the need to convey everything using words.
It was humbling to realise to what extent both a 74 and a 60 year-old theatre professionals could spark so many emotions not through a time-capsule recreating their particular inner universes but, quite on the contrary, rubbing themselves persistently against daily reality, turning it upside down, time and time again, as if it were a Rubik's cube.
Go and see either of those plays, or even better both of them, if the chance presents itself!