Erotic Alleluia
Cast and crew! Cast and crew!

A sense of yearning for the forbidden lingers from scene to scene, finishing with the premise that sometimes it's too late when we discover were our passions lie

It is the opening night and fifteen minutes before the show starts, Spanish speakers from different backgrounds and the occasional English-speaking friend gather in expectation. I missed their first production back in October, 'The Toothbrush' so I'm intrigue by a performance in Spanish with English surtitles...

The second theatre production of the Spanish Theatre Company, successfully combined Federico Garcia Lorca's play The Love of Don Perlimplín for Belisa in the Garden with extracts of some of his earlier works. An enchanting production that transforms great literature from the beginning of the 20th century into a contemporary story of love and deception.

The lights go out and the show is about to start. Characters frozen in time appear on the stage and a couple of 'Duendes' start conspiring on what to do to scape from boredom. Up on the wall, the screen is smoothly translating the silky and sensual Spanish verse into English. I find this an ingenious method to allow Australians to enjoy the richness of Spanish literature, but I can't help but wonder how different their rendition must be from mine.

The main plot is about a 50-year-old bachelor content with his life and his books who is persuaded by his servant to find a wife and get married. He resolves to marry Belisa, a much younger and seductive neighbour. She is not interested in marriage but her mother convinced her by pointing out Perlimplín's wealth.

On her wedding night, five men get to enjoy Belisa's sexual pleasures while her husband is asleep. She goes on with her flirtatious games and falls in love with a red-caped man that sends her passionate letters complimenting her marvellous body.

Passages from other Garcia Lorca's work cleverly interrupt the story of Perlimplín and Belisa. The actors are as evocative as the words written by him, conjuring the sensuality and warmth of a Spanish little town.

After some twists and turns Perlimplín stages a meet up between Belisa and her mysterious man and right before it happens he threatens to kill the guy that's stealing his wife. The wounded red-caped man comes back and suddenly Belisa and the audience realise that it is Perlimplín himself underneath the cape. He sacrificed himself, though unclear if it is for love or revenge.

It was an incredible performance by all the actors, emanating sensuality and desire. A sense of yearning for the forbidden lingers from scene to scene, finishing with the premise that sometimes it's too late when we discover were our passions lie.

Erotic Alleluia was performed in the Mechanics Institute in Brunswick from 23 to 27 April.

Follow Teatro Spanish (Spanish Theatre Company) on Facebook to find out more about their next production coming up in November.

By Carolina González

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