Thirty-three years after its publication, ‘The yellow rain’ is still valid. Thirty three years later, this theatrical version of the novel by
Julio Llamazares to tell us again about that drama of the depopulation of rural Spain. The monologue of Andrés, its protagonist, is the monologue of so many men and women who saw the collapse of a world and who were buried by the absence and by the ghosts of memory.
Visually very successful by the use of ‘video mapping’, in this adaptation Jesús Arbués puts on the tables a crossroads of voices and a space full of symbols. Indeed, the Huesca director makes that in each image of the forests, of
the fog, of the abandoned houses, that in each one of the colors that they possess, symbolically encrypt an emotion, a mental state, that is to say, the topography of this hell. He also creates atmospheres that are halfway between expressionism, manners, poetic breath and moral theater.
It proposes, in this sense, a story that is individual and social, that attends to destiny, to the tragedy of concrete human beings and the collective tragedy, not only of a forgotten and devastated town in the Pyrenees, not only of a country, but of a form of civilization that is dying out. Anielle, and all the Anielles lost in the world, are more than victims of a Franco system or the developmentalism of the 60s, they are places expelled from the urban way of life today.
Very interesting is the role of the narrator, the role of this man who names his evil and whose voice intersects with other voices, sometimes to support his words, others to expand or qualify them. And always, yes, to give a poetic dimension to that verbalization of the world. Arbués solves this by staging two interpreters.
Demons of a life
The arrogance, the loneliness of Andrés de Casa Sosa in his last night of life is interpreted by Ricardo Joven with undoubted emphasis. Young points out, in this stream of consciousness, that his dialogue with the ghosts of his suicidal wife, of his mother, of his children dead or lost in emigration, of the neighbors or friends who left is a settling of accounts with the history that he carries within and with the final collapse of a land. Together with him, Alicia Montesquiu, with her mourning aesthetic, with her dark circles that express all sadness, not only gives life to Sabina, Andrés’s wife, but also, in her multiple interpretation, endorses the words of Llamazares, sings and it walks like a shadow that joins different sequences.
Premiered in Huesca and Ciudad Rodrigo, before arriving at the Spanish Theater, ‘The yellow rain’ adapted by Arbués faithfully reflects the tragedy of a goodbye, the demons of a life, that’s why it is intense, a violent funeral oration for the end of a world, where the choir is a bunch of ghosts that have not left the mind of this poor old man who lives the reverse of any utopia.