Double duty: in the UK premiere of the one-woman play The Reality, Maite Jáuregui plays not only two sisters but performs – on different nights – in two languages, English and Spanish. We caught up with her about the play and why she feels so at home at the Cervantes Theatre, London’s centre for Spanish and Latin American drama. Time to get booking!
The Reality (La Realidad) runs from 1 to 18 May 2019 at the Cervantes Theatre – including a post-show Q&A chaired by Mates co-founder Terri Paddock on Saturday 4 May – as the centrepiece production in the 2019 New Spanish Playwriting season.
In this haunting new play, written by Denise Despeyroux and translated by Sarah Maitland, twin sisters Luz and Andromeda, both played by Maite Jáuregui, connect via Skype to play a dangerous game of ‘reality’ that takes them close to the line that separates good and evil.
The Reality (La Realidad) runs from 1 to 18 May 2019 at the Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR, with 7.30pm performances, in Spanish on Wednesdays and Thursdays, in English on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are priced £12.50-£25. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Talking to… Maite Jáuregui
Maite Jáuregui (performer) was born in Los Angeles, later moving to Madrid, where she began her acting career. Her UK stage credits have included The House of Bernarda Alba and Blood Wedding, both at Cervantes Theatre, as well as Don Quixote, Antigone/Twin Peaks, The House of Bernardeta and Hand in Hand elsewhere. Her screen credits here include Channel 4 series Flowers and Another Love. She recently premiered her one-woman show UNA, co-created with Pau Aran Gimeno, at Barcelona’s Sala Ivanow.
What brought you to London in the first place?
I came to train at RADA in 2010. I wanted to do theatre and I thought that London was the best place be. I’ve always had a big connection with this city. My parents met in here in 1969 and lived in the UK for many years (my three older brothers where born in Oxford). I’d spent many summer holidays in London seeing theatre and it felt natural for me to come here.
Why do you like working at the Cervantes Theatre?
It feels like home. I know everyone who works there and that makes it a very special place. It’s a wonderful space to work in. The audience is very close to you, you feel them breathe and react to whatever’s happening in the moment. It creates a very intimate atmosphere and I really enjoy that – both when I’m performing and when I’m watching.
What attracted you to The Reality?
I immediately connected with this story and with both sisters. In its essence, it’s a story about love and pain, about family, vulnerability, forgiveness and resentment, light and dark; elements that we all carry within us. Humour and drama are brilliantly balanced and the play takes us through a journey that goes from realities as far, wide and mysterious as the celestial sky or the constellations, to much more mundane and familiar concepts like Ikea (El Corte Inglés in the Spanish version) or a box of chocolates.
Tell us about your characters.
Luz is a free soul in constant search for self-discovery and growth. Her mission in life is to be a channel of light and love for others and she lives in India, where she went to help those who, according to her, suffer most. She adores her sister, worries about her deeply and tries to do what she can to heal her.
Andromeda lives with a big amount of pain in her heart. She’s a very sensitive person who carries a lot of resentment towards several members of her family. She is studying psychology and she believes that things should be done a certain way. She adores her sister but is also convinced that, out of the two, Luz is the better one and that everyone loves her sister more than her. This creates quite a bit of inner and outer conflict.
What interests you about twins?
I haven’t met many twins in my life, but I find it fascinating that they can sometimes feel the same thing at once. Luz and Andromeda describe how, as children, they used to get these sudden feelings of sadness at the same time.
Are you performing both English & Spanish dates?
I am. It’s a wonderful challenge. It’s always slightly different performing a play in your mother tongue and in a different language. The emotional connections you have to each of them are different and that’s what we, as actors, play with. However, even though learning the lines implies twice as much work, the actions and intentions behind them are always the same.
Why should audiences see The Reality?
Because it’s a beautiful text and a very original format. I’ve never seen a play in which the same actress plays twin sisters having a Skype conversation. It is a wonderful emotional journey that I think audiences will enjoy very much. I think some people will connect more with one sister than the other, but probably most will connect with certain qualities of both. I think it would be especially interesting to see this play with someone you know so you can then discuss and compare your thoughts and feelings towards the sisters and the story.
Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s wonderful that English audiences are going to have the opportunity of seeing Denise Despeyroux’s fantastic work. I’m hoping that the rest of her plays will be translated and performed here soon too.
Mates co-founder Terri Paddock will chair a post-show Q&A with Denise Despeyreux and Maite Jáuregui on Saturday 4 May 2019 at the Cervantes Theatre. Any questions?