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November 1, 2014
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Brilliant play on farcical appearances

Dario Grandinetti and María Onetto in a scene from Javier Daulte’s Personitas.
By Carolina Nogueira
For the Herald
Dario Grandinetti leads great cast in Javier Daulte’s remarkable Personitas

The highly talented director and playwright Javier Daulte once again presents a peculiarly interesting world in his play Personitas (Little People).With outstanding character development and an original use of the theatrical performance space, this creative story follows the daily life of three siblings who share a particular secret.

Unfolding some decades ago in the family’s big dark garage, this inventive play presents the dynamic between René — performed by Dario Grandinetti — and his two sisters. The three of them are hiding — in this underground part of the house — a terrarium where, instead of the usual small fauna, they keep little people. At least that’s what they think while observing them day after day and creating different things to add to their habitat.

The situation spirals out of control when a young and curious neighbour called Helenita (Laura Grandinetti) enters the garage and discovers its unusual inhabitants. From there on, her desire to learn more about the peculiar species in the terrarium leads to constant intrusions and questioning of everything the three siblings do. What’s more, Elsa’s alleged suitor knows about the creatures and helps the family in their unorthodox research.

With great performances from Dario and Laura Grandinetti (as René and Helenita), the play maintains a distant but sweet relationship where the two come together in their curiosity about the terrarium’s inhabitants.

Andrea Garrote plays the youngest sister. In a very amusing and accomplished performance, Garrote adds a sense of humour and freshness to the story. Maria Onetto plays the oldest sister, a spinster who seems to find love in a distant and awkward man performed by Hector Díaz. Both of them stand out through their spellbinding acting, drawing attention not only with hilarious moments but with drama as well.

Every theatrical element is put to use at its highest potential. The superb acting is enhanced by a remarkable set design — created by Alicia Leloutre — which manages to be completely functional and captivating at the same time. By reversing the original layout of the set, the director uses the two floors of the theatre to spin parallel tales, which allows him to stage more than one scene at a time — as well as the same scene in two separate spaces. The presence of the terrarium is particularly powerful: it is one of the first things the viewers see upon entering the theatre hall, which goes to show how important this element will be throughout the story.

The costumes are used to credibly place the story a few decades in the past, while the light design perfectly enhances the different scenes onstage.

With outstanding performances, a great set design and a very original text, Daulte’s play manages to present, in a dynamic way, a story that makes one wonder and then ponder.

where and when:

Espacio Callejón, Humahuaca 3759. On Mondays at 9pm. Tickets at 120 pesos.

@caritonog
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