El Gran' Teatro Argentino

Thursday, 20 August, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu


Excuse me for interrupting your momentary glimpse of the Garden of Even, but I have an article I want you to read. Yes, I'm serious, with words and everything. No, I know that's really a great idea, teens naked on a museum field trip. Yes, I agree that's really the only way they can truly take in the antiquity of Antiquity and the splendor of... Yes, I'm aware dressing them before they're thirty is a waste anyway. Yes that's actually an old theatre, yes, yes. Can we move on to my article now ?


So, Buenos Aires has a great many theatres. How many exactly I doubt anyone can say, there's many hundreds of actual dedicated places - generally shared like churches in the Orthodox tradition are shared by multiple troupes of priests, deacons, choruses etc (and yet they regard harems dimly, for some reason, while having no problems sharing Christ's bride). Plus who knows how many clandestine troupes more or less seriously pursuing the craft, renting out places on occasion and so forth.

In this charged atmosphere, corroborated with the fact that Argentines do not normally speak English (and if they do, they mostly use it to chat casually with tourists and maybe, once in a blue moon, read half a newspaper or something), you'd expect some very vigurous, fascinating, creative and overal worthwile theatrics to occur. In a sense they do, but as we'll see, not in the sense you would expect.

Testimony, here's a little conversation I just had, passing by one of the yet another facially unappealing advertisements for a yet another pointless production.

Me : If there's one of these ads for a show, and there's two names in the marquee of which the first name's a female, what is the 2nd going to be ?
OP : Male.
Me : Yet if there's three names, and the first two are female, what is the 3rd going to be ?
OP : Female.

Indubitably. Yet how does she know ?

I'll tell you how she knows. She knows, from bitter experience, unconsciously but certainly, that being an Argentine is being retarded just like being a loaf of bread is being full of air.

Consequently #1, theatre in here doesn't mean anything you'd expect, but simply "come pay to watch me hang out with my friends". That's all it is. There's no show per se, and not really much of a script, or indeed need for one. That's not where the impetuus lays, but moreover in the trivial, a sort of degeneratedly Latino "realism". Just like the soviet realism of yore, as contrived, as false, as sterile, but with more lazy and more filthy.

Consequently numero dos, they are very socially stunted, and so the options are a) the atomic couple, as stylisized by this inept society or b) the herd of friends. And b's always going to be same-gender, because in a country populated by adults that just recently surpassed the mental age of 11, that's what you get.

Now, in an actual country with an actual culture, theatre is in point of fact very much an embodiement of a script (which is why English theatre is Shakespeare, who was first and foremost a playwright, and not Nell Gwyn, who was first and foremost her friends), so much so that when the script calls for females, as the script does, as a script is wont to, the all male crew didn't look at the fact that it was nigh impossible to get a woman on the stage, and if you do it'll be a whore and she'll play a very fine soubrette and nothing else, be she distributed as the Queen Mother, but instead shaved and wore bustier and cap and struggled and strove to fill the role - perhaps with some success.

Meanwhile in a cattle herd inhabiting an endless plain, the strictures of speech as a regulator of human activity do not exist per se. Argentines do not speak like you and me, Argentines bleat and bark like your sheep and dogs. They appreciate the loudness, the sudden quality, the melodicity, the formal "propriety" of speech much like a parrot judges another parrot's noises. They do not however comprehend, nor do they have any expectation that words string together into anything other than a noisy flow, and in no case does any notion occur to bother them that perhaps words carry the future in any sense.

And so in Argentina you have endless multitudes more than happy to drop whatever they're doing and chat with you for half an hour - provided it's purposeless and objectless, mere gurgling of sounds. They can be cashiers with a lengthy line waiting or firemen on a fire truck on their way to a fire, they'll stop to bark at you a little just like any self-respecting dog stops to bark a little at any other passing dog. You similarly have, in Argentina, tons of people willing to "discuss" soccer. You have any idea what soccer is like ? What exactly is there to discuss ? Oh, yet they do. And you should hear the people on the radio, how carefully aware they are of the fact that the sound of their voice speaking is the entirety of their speaking act.

And also so, in Argentina you have a great many theatres. Where you can go watch a perfect stranger hang out with his friends. The last time they had an actual theatrical production in this country was sometime in 1924, by the looks of it, but no matter. Argentinian theatre continues undisturbed, in the manner the great airport at Tanna, Vanuatu still to this day has scheduled flights to John Frum Airport, Anytown, USA, where Tom Navy brings them fresh corned Gardeleef and borges.

PS. Do not even dare argue details with me. This article comes as the bitter fruit of hundreds of walkouts out of hundreds of miserable performances, and a few scarce stays through even more miserable performances for the pure comedic value of it. The country's not merely nil, as far as theatre is concenred. It ate the floor and is now chewing through the subsoil.

Category: La pas prin lume
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.
Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.