A woman throws a boiling coffee pot on the face of her attacker in an old Fritz Lang film, of which Lluïsa Cunillé has used the title for her new work, The bribes. Director Lurdes Barba tells me: “We have just started the journey: rehearsals at the Teatre de Salt. You are convinced that you thought you knew many secrets, but when you least expect it, new revelations arrive ”. The show opens on October 10 in Salt, in Temporada Alta. And it will season at the Beckett from January 20 to February 14. The work is written for the company La Ruta 40, with the incorporation of Àurea Márquez. The remaining interpreters are Albert Prat, Sergi Torrecilla, and Alberto Díaz. Four characters on the run or adrift meet in an old cinema. A projectionist, a man involved in politics; his brother, who has to send a mysterious letter. And even more mysterious is Mrs. Selma Parker, whose enigma should be revealed just enough: curiously, Cunillé has not chosen to evoke the character of Gloria Grahame, but an apparent secondary in the story. But we are not in the darkest part of film noir. “Of course, it is a wink or a tribute to The bribed, although, as always, the author’s gaze encompasses other landscapes and other profiles, ”says Lurdes Barba. “Lost characters, very Lluïsa, who seem to inhabit a world that is ending. Selma makes a determination that could put her in danger; the politician also chooses to take a risk ”.
I tell him that reading the text echoes came back to me of the missing mother of the brothers. “There are stories for everyone. She was left a widow. The father was a boxer. With a third-rate director he went to live in Italy. She always calls the oldest son because he likes to hear the same stories, ”she tells me. I thought of this phrase, which seems to be half-written between Marsé and Modiano: “In all old cinemas there are ghosts.” I thought of The Flick, the play with which Annie Baker won the Pulitzer, which also happened in a dilapidated cinema. I think of stories from Cunillé herself, such as Passage Gutenberg, where Lurdes Barba acted or directed: great pieces like Barcelona, map of names, Quote, the recent Iceland u MASSACRE, who is fifteen years old and last winter, Barba tells me, it premiered in the small room of the Comédie. Let’s celebrate the beginning of the season with a rare gift: two other works by the author will come onto the scene this season. While The bribes occupies one room of the Beckett, in the other he will direct The garden Albert Arribas. And from May 6 to June 15, at the TNC, Xavier Albertí will say goodbye to Nacional directing The Empress of the Parallel, with Pere Arquillué, Chantal Aimée, Silvia Marsó and Montse Esteve, leading a great cast. Now, Barba and his band are soaking up the perfume of the old cinema recreated by Cunillé: the world to which he wants to drag the audience. I get the final image of a red cigarette butt piercing the darkness. And it lingers in memory.