I’m delighted to return to the Cervantes Theatre, London’s home of Spanish and Latin American drama, for my last of three post-show Q&As in the 2019 season. After new original plays The Reality and The Eyes of the Night, I’m back for this much-anticipated page-to-stage adaptation.
Winner of the 2011 American Theatre Critics Prize, The House of the Spirits is a theatre adaptation of the 1982 novel of the same name that catapulted Chilean writer Isabel Allende to literary stardom.
Charting the rise and fall of the Trueba family in an unnamed Latin American country (reminiscent of Chile), The House of the Spirits spans the 1920s through the 1970s, as the country moves through enormous sociopolitical changes that culminate in a devastating dictatorship.
The play, adapted by Obie Award-winning bilingual playwright Caridad Svich, is told from the point of view of the youngest of three generations of women, Alba, who is held as the play opens, in a torture room. The swirling memories, frightening and amusing, lyrical and fantastic, illuminate the stage as Alba records her family’s history and ultimately finds the strength to recover her own story.
Acción Cultural Española supports this bold and daring theatre piece that captures the force and sensuality of Allende’s vision through Caridad Svich’s unique poetic voice.
The House of the Spirits is directed by Cervantes Theatre co-founder and associate director Paula Paz and features an international cast of 12 bilingual actors drawn from seven different Spanish-speaking countries. Alba and Esteban Trueba are played by Pia Laborde-Noguez and Raul Fernandes, who are joined in the cast by Constanza Ruff, Vanessa Calderón, Diana Volpe, Elena Saenz, Daniela Cristo, Alejandra Costa, Rodrigo Peñalosa, Álvaro Flores, Álvaro Ramos and Gian Carlo Ferrini.