The Jameos del Agua Auditorium will host the world premiere of “The Double” by Jose Saramago, during the winter season, coinciding with the celebration CACT’s 50 year anniversary.
The president of the Lanzarote Cabildo, Pedro San Ginés, considers the initiative of the Centres and the production company “a wonderful opportunity to get to know Lanzarote through a cultural production at the hands of a man who fell in love with the island and with whom we will always owe a debt of gratitude”.
The president of the Saramago Foundation, Pilar Del Rio, demonstrated her “full confidence” in those at the forefront of the project, stating, “all we’ll have to do is take a seat in the first row to applaud them”.
A brief look back at the history of The Double
What happens when Tertuliano Maximo Afonso at age 38 discovers that there is someone who is an exact clone of him living in the city, to whom he has no relation by blood? This is the question that the Portuguese writer Jose Saragamo poses and develops in The Double. How do we come to know who we are? What makes us as individual and unique as people? Could we switch places with our double without those nearest and dearest to us noticing? These are some of the questions that arise during this reading of the Nobel winner’s work, published in 2002.
The Lanzarote Cabildo Centres for Art, Culture, and Tourism and the production company, DD & Company, have joined forces to brings theatrical adaptation of The Double to the stage. Set to begin next winter, it will establish another CACT initiative, associated with the promotion and advancement of culture. The world premiere of the play will take place in Lanzarote only at the Jameos del Agua Auditorium, on a date yet to be announced.
These are some of the details provided by the president of the Lanzarote Cabildo, Pedro San Ginés,, at a conference today that served as a presentation of an agreement reached between CACT and DD & Company, that will bring The Double to national and international stages. Accompanied by the Minister of Tourism from the island’s first institution, Echedey Eugenio, the minister of Culture, Oscar Perez, the presentation of the Saragamo Foundation, Pilar del Rio, the head of DD & Company, Dania Devora, and the adapters of the text, Félix Ortiz y Salvador Toscano, and the theatre director, José Martret.
About José Saramago
is one of the most prominent authors from the field of contemporary literature. His work has been acclaimed all over the world by both audiences and critics, considering it to be some of the most important work of our time. This is the reason DD & Company decided to “enthusiastically take on equal responsibility of this complex but passionate challenge” to bring to the stage a version of The Double in Spanish to the millions of the Portuguese writer’s followers. With the help of CACT and with key support from the Saragamo Foundation, starting in the adopted land of the Portuguese Nobel prize winner’s adopted island of Lanzarote, the production company will take the play on a journey bringing it to stages both nationally and internationally.
The President of the Saragamo Foundation, Pilar del Río, present at the conference, showed her support and “full confidence” in the those leading the project. “I have trust in Felix and Salvador, who I have known for many years, the director, Jose Martret, and a woman, Dania Devora who has an amazing production company behind her, and is someone who helps to make this country greater. All we’ll have to do is take a seat in the front row, admire the work, and applaud it”. Del Río hopes that the presentation of The Double, coinciding with the the planned events celebrating 50 years of the CACT, will “feed off of each other”.
The best team for a great piece of work
Dania Devora, head of DD & Company, recognised the complexity of a project in which she would need to “count on both the technical and artistic teams put together by renowned professionals from the island’s world of theatre, to contribute their talent and point of view of the author and his work.” Devora revealed “right now we’re in the casting process, selecting actors that bring the characters of Saragamo’s piece to life”, she also revealed they are considering “people of indisputable professionalism and talent well-known to audiences, but also emerging artists”.
Jose Matret, co-founder of the La Casa del Portera theatre and director, amongst other things, of the short film, “ ¡¡¡Todas!!!!”, for which he received 14 different festival awards, acknowledged and accepted the “the very exciting challenge and the honour of directing a play of an artist as huge as Saragamo”, whose work he has confessed he is “in love with” Martret acknowledged that reading the work of the Portuguese Nobel’s work “is a full and different experience. My challenge is to provide the audience with a unique theatrical experience, different to any other theatre presentation”. Speaking from the stage on which the play will premiere, Martret noted that “uniting the spirits of Manrique and Saragamo at Jameos is something exceptional”.
Felix Ortiz and Salvador Toscano, adapters of the original text, and “guilty of all of this”, explained that the idea of bringing the work of Saramago came about “very casually”. Furthermore, they revealed that they have “very much enjoyed the past two years of preparation of a piece they hope people will enjoy, and that does not disillusion the readers of Saramago, this is why they have used direct quotations from the Portuguese writer’s work.
Since 1990 DD & Company has been dedicated to the creation, production, management and organization of all types of cultural events. From concerts to festivals, to theatre, to dance, to record production and communication. The production company has maintained a close tie to cultural life on the Canary Islands, developing projects such as the WOMAD festival, the Arrecife Festival of Music, Don Juan Tenorio in Vuegueta and Fuertemúsica, as well as much more.
Its work has been taken beyond the borders of the islands, with both national and international tours and projects such as Voces de Ella, WOMAD in Cáceres, the coproduction of the theatre piece “Una Relación Pornográfica” (A Pornographic Relationship) in Argentina, or the production of three Ibero-American evenings in New York City, amongst other projects.
Header photograph courtesy of the José Saramago Foundation