"The truth is, it isn't over. I'd rather there was no museum. I'd rather it wasn't over. I'd rather still be marginalised and bitter."
During the Pinochet regime in Chile, approximately 5,000 detainees were brought to Villa Grimaldi. Most were tortured, hundreds were "disappeared". Today, the Villa has been demolished and three young women are deciding how to remodel the blood-soaked building complex. How should modern Chile respond to this unwanted legacy? Should it have a new life or remain a memorial to the crimes committed there? How should we remember the violence of the state?
A satirical play which uncovers the dark humour about how to move forward (or not) in a post-conflict society.
Michelle Bachlet, Chile's president from 2006-2010, makes her farewell speech on leaving office but she is not being as gracious and diplomatic as she should be. Is she saying what she really thinks or is someone putting words in her mouth?
"Unexpectedly funny moments are followed by references that free our smile humane and without self pity." Financial Times on Villa and Discurso
"We don't allow ourselves to hear. If we could, life would be unbearable."
Tejas Verdes ('Green Gables'), once a sea-side resort, was an infamous Chilean torture and detention centre during the Pinochet coup in 1973. Fermin Cabal's humane and powerful play traces the life of a young woman who vanishes one night in Santiago. Beneath the tolling of the church bells, her voice and the voices of those who share her story ring out with poetic beauty and overwhelming love.
"Eloquently translated, impossible to forget." The Guardian.
Belfast Telegraph Review ****
Calling all politicians. Should we remember the past? How? Prime Cut continues its sterling work in bringing international drama to Belfast – showing us we’re neither alone nor unique.
The first play in Chilean writer Guillermo Calderon’s double bill sees three young women charged with deciding what should be done with the site of some of the country’s worst atrocities, a villa-turned-torture centre. Substitute ‘Maze’ for ‘Villa’ and pull up a chair….
Roisin McBrinn’s uncluttered direction keeps us focused on the trio trying to decide what shape the past will make on the future. Should the Villa be re-built as a memorial? Replaced with a museum? Transformed into an art gallery? Just as agreement looks possible, a dissenting voice emerges.
Discurso, the second play on the bill, features an imagined farewell speech from Chile’s first female leader Michelle Bachelet. It’s a compelling performance from Eleanor Methven – a 60-minute monologue which gives a moving glimpse of the human behind the mask.