The same day that the corpse of Francisco Franco out of the Valley of the Fallen to be buried in the cemetery of Mingorrubio, not very far from there, in a rehearsal that the National Drama Center in Madrid has recreated what was a tragic Civil War unleashed by the coup d’état of the dictator in a huge and deep scenario, of different heights and with spaces limited, rubble bags and waste dumps all over the floor and the noise of the thunderous bombardment.

The popular fictional character created by the novelist Elena Fortún in Madrid, 1886-1952), starred in The theatre adaptation of Celia in the revolution, the book written in 1943 and lost until 1987, which is in reality an autobiographical account, simple and direct, poetic, and heartbreaking.

interviews recovered with the children’s workers

Under the title ‘What children say’ the editorial Renaissance rescues this month, an unheard of Elena Fortún. The book brings together for the first time 18 awesome interviews that the author conducted on child workers in the thirties in the province of Madrid, and published in installments in the magazine ‘People What’, signed Roenueces. They are between 7 and 14 years and are compositors, porters, seamstresses, rag-pickers, trainees, vendors of newspapers or farmers. Only some of them, they could combine their work with the school. Mary Jesus Fabra university, co-director of the collection Elena Fortún seal Rebirth, calls it a “treasure” in this book and what it represents of discovery. “Fortun was a woman who showed great concern for children and their rights. With these deliveries, published in a magazine aimed at an audience of upper class, wanted to show the other reality of the child worker”.

The shocking testimony of life at the rear that Elena Fortún collected in his novel, one of the great chronicles, to the foot of the street, the fear and the death in the Civil War, far from the propaganda of one side to the other, appears for the first time to the theatre in a show adapted by Alba Quintas and directed by María Folguera. The actress Tábata Cerezo will give life to the restless girl (at the time of the war as a teenager) that captivated thousands of readers. To Cherry will be nine actors, who play over thirty characters, in this feature that will premiere at the teatro Valle-Inclán in Madrid next November 6th.


‘A girl’, by Félix de Azúa ‘Elena the woman forgotten’, by Elvira Lindo

This premiere will be the first of the projects that the National Dramatic Centre will dedicate this season to Elena Fortún, a pseudonym of Encarnación Aragoneses, an author little conventional, republican and anticlerical, that he was exiled to Buenos Aires after the Civil War. The next month of February will get another work, also written and directed by María Folguera. Titled Elena Fortún, this second stage adaptation of the will in the rich universe of the writer, a woman somewhat unhappy and misunderstood. The work that part of your book, Hidden paths not esquivará same-sex relationships that remained Fortun, who was also married and was the mother of two children (one died ten years ago and the other committed suicide in the united States). “I’ve never read of a way so alive the desire for other women as in that book,” says Folguera.

The director takes with pride to have been the first to put on stage a novel of Fortun, author that although he made versions of plays of his books never saw them represented. “I live in the universe of Fortun from my childhood, when my mother read to my sister and me the books of Celia to the bed. 11 years ago I read Celia in the revolution. I had never faced anything so I live on the hunger and tiredness. This story is the missing link in the saga of lirbos of Celia, the one who joins in a definitive way the book Celia, madrecita, and Celia, a governess. The manuscript in pencil was found in the eighties. Thus, the text has a special freshness, without censorship or corrections, contrary to the other in which they note the frustration and pain of Fortun by having to submit to Celia’s marriage and rigid social norms,” explains Folger accompanied by Alba Quintas.

as the novel, the role of Celia in the revolution through the streets of Segovia and Madrid to travel then to Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille. However, the theatrical version changes something in the structure of the book to give an answer to the question with which begins the work: “why in 1939 Celia had to go out of Spain?”. The young Alba Fifths of 25 years it is clear: “Because there was no place for a girl curious as she, who did not believe in camps nor in ideas imposed”.

The spectator will attend to a flashback of the memories of the girl child, orphaned of her mother, who is attending the shooting of his grandfather’s gop, but also to the death of his cousin and his aunt on the side of franco. “It’s a way of taking a stand for the subjectivity of Celia. What happens on the stage is a memory. We are witnessing the changes that she experienced in those three years of war, in which not only will you know the fear and misery, freedom and loneliness, out of control family. Celia learns how to take care of yourself and to take care of the other, learn to re-establish themselves. Get saved defending also corners and pleasures such as reading a book of adventures of Dumas with which he undertakes the flight from Spain to Marseille”, explained the director.

it is Not a history lesson or sides or ideologies faced that arrive at the theatre Valle-Inclán, in a mounting which occupies part of the audience of the stalls. It is, above all, a horrifying story of life, women spend hours queuing to get a litre of milk or take out a sewing machine out of the rubble to make a dress.

The recovery of Fortun with these two works form part of a research line, the current director of the NSC, Ernesto Caballero, that stake for the transfer of novels to the stage, and the recovery of women writers forgotten.


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