Villa & Discurso – The MAC
May 30, 2014 Laura Caldwell 5 Comments
Bernadette Brown, Pauline Hutton and Amy Molloy deliver believable and poignant performances as the committee and they seamlessly and subtly swap accessories and clothes throughout to mirror their changing views and opinions. In addition to the props, subtle sound and lighting is used sparsely to add to the experience, whilst not taking away from the raw performances over all.
As we leave the theatre whilst the stage is re-set, we’re handed a voting slip and asked to vote on which option we’d choose for the Villa – the results are shown on a board at the end of the second show.
After a short break, we’re told to come back into the theatre via the back entrance – the seats are the same as before, but a red carpet had been laid down and a wooden lectern sits towards the back of the ‘stage’. Whether intentional or not, coming in through the back door is quite disorientating and like in the first play we begin by not being quite sure what is about to happen.
In Discurso Eleanor Methven, plays Michelle Bachelet Chile’s president from 2006 – 2010 as she makes her farewell speech upon leaving office. Normally seen as gracious and diplomatic, Bachelet claims someone is putting words into her mouth as she says what she really thinks about politics, democracy and life in Chile.
Methven is every inch the lady-president in her dress, demeanour and speech. She’s frank, honest and wholly believable as she battles through her inner turmoil as the leader of a troubled nation. Whether she’s being diplomatic as expected or digressing about sex, wealth and power you’re with her every step of the way as she sits down beside audience members and addresses them directly, knocks over the lectern and ultimately removes her sash and bids her people a farewell.
Directed by Roisin McBrinn, both Villa and Discurso are by Guillermo Calderon and translated into English by William Gregory. Both plays compliment each other well and often cross over in certain words or phrases which are re-used and repeated. Over all both Villa and Discurso are equally as enjoyable whether viewed separately or together. Even with my limited knowledge of Chile’s political situation I thoroughly enjoyed this evening of the first two installments of the #Chilogy and can’t wait to see the third. All three can even be enjoyed in the one triple-bill on Saturday 7th and Saturday 14th June. More details and tickets can be found here.