Berlanga’s ‘Placido’ takes the stage at the Teatre El Musical with the play ‘Convida un pobre a la teua taula’

  • Fundació General UV
  • February 18th, 2022
Scene of the play 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula'. Photos: Miguel Lorenzo.
Scene of the play 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula'. Photos: Miguel Lorenzo.

On the Year of Berlanga, ASSAIG paid his own tribute to the Valencian filmmaker with the premiere at La Nau of the first theatrical adaptation of his movie ‘Placido’, recovering the original title of the film: ‘Convida un pobre a la teua taula’ (Invite a poor person to your table). The play has now been brought to the stage of the Teatre El Musical in February, where it was performed once again on the 17th, supported by the Cultural Action Councillorship of Valencia’s City Hall.

2021 was declared the Year of Berlanga by the governing council of the Valencian government in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Valencian filmmaker’ birth (1921-2021). A Commemorative Commission, assigned to the Presidency of the Valencian government and comprised of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Diputació de València and the City Hall, among other members, has been the one in charge to establish the schedule of activities thorough the whole practice. This is where the last production of ASSAIG (Theatre Group at the Universitat de València), 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula’, directed by Pep Sanchis and Núria Martín and written by Javier Sahuquillo and Borja López Collado, is included.

With this title, ASSAIG has recovered the original name of the film ‘Placido’, allowing a dialogue with the present. As Pep Sanchis states, “we have worked over the world laid out by the filmmaker, a creator committed with society and human beings, and we have exported it to the present; to the characters, situations and social criticism of our reality.”

For this mission, ingredients from Berlanga’s masterpiece have been used: a dark and gloomy Christmas tale where man is wolf to man, money knows no other referent than itself, and the province and its people are everything outside the M-30. The economic crisis and the survival challenges the poorest classes face, the private charity as a solidary driving force opposite to the systematic abandonment of the State to its citizens, and humour, bad intentions and acid irony as mechanisms to denounce the abuses of privileged classes and their tentacles upon the financial and political system.

This is ‘Placido’ by García-Berlanga, and this is the challenge the new ASSAIG production has faced with the theatrical adaptation of 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula’, an ambitious project that is generous with the author by respecting his world view, and that translates the audiovisual language to the theatrical language.

In conclusion, 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula’ is a metamorphosis that starts from “reverential and sacred respect to the original material” and lands in the purest Berlanga style: from irreverence, betraying itself, the most corrosive acidity, institutional challenge and contempt for the paradigms of political correctness.

Organised by the Universitat de València, through the Office of the Vice-Principal for Culture and Sport and the General Foundation of the UV, the play 'Convida un pobre a la teua taula’ has been institutionally supported by the Presidency of the Valencian government, where the Commemorative Commission of the Year of Berlanga chaired by Rosana Pastor is included; Valencia’s City Hall, through the Cultural Action Councillorship represented by Maite Ibáñez; and the Valencian Institute of Culture.