Two women in a hospital waiting room. They wait for news of their disabled son, who has just suffered a tragic accident. They both fear the worst, although the fear of confessing the unspeakable is even greater… “Am I a monster for feeling this? My God, you tell me. I am? You also let your son die, you knew he was going to die and you did nothing to help him “…
“The Island” gives the title to this immersion into the depths of love and pain, defined as “an uncomfortable function” by its own author, Juan Carlos Rubio (Montilla, Córdoba, 1967). It premiered in 2019 at the Alhambra Theater in Granada and now comes to the Cervantes Theater London in a shocking English version, directed by Jessica Lazar and performed by two seasoned British actresses (Rebecca Crankshaw and Rebecca Banatvala).
Paula Paz, co-founder of the Cervantes Theatre, saw the play at the Iberian Exhibition of Performing Arts in Extremadura and felt the urge to take it to London, in time for the seventh anniversary of the stage that has brought the best of Spanish theater to the capital of the performing arts. “It seemed like a very powerful function, with a very universal scope,” says Paula Paz, “and we took on the challenge of producing and programming it for four weeks in English.”
The play begins with Ada (Rebecca Crankshaw) telling us the story of Hunga Tonga, the ephemeral island that emerged from a volcanic eruption in the Pacific and that refused to die. In her stark way, Ada turns John Donne’s metaphor—”No man is an island”—and insists on our condition as island men and women, as she pours water and more water between three “isolated” glasses. ” of plastic.
Laura (Rebecca Banatvala) bursts onto the scene with her feet on the ground, justifying her impulse to season each sentence with the helpful “fucking” (“whore”, in the Spanish version) with the idea of “give the next word an almost mystical dimension”. At that moment the spectators have the license to smile, knowing that things are surely going to get worse.