Sergi Belbel and Catalan Theatre

Sergi Belbel and Catalan Theatre

Text, Performance and Identity

David George


Tamesis Books



A major contemporary playwright and director.
By the late 1970s, internationally known performance groups such as Els Joglars, La Fura dels Baus or La Cubana had precipitated a decline in text-based Catalan theatre, reversed in the mid 1980s with the appearance of a younger generation of playwrights led by Sergi Belbel. Influenced by contemporary European rather than Spanish or Catalan drama, his work was very different from the realist idiom favoured by playwrights of the Franco generation.
But playwriting is only one aspect of Belbel's work as a theatre practitioner. He also has a highly successful career as a director of Spanish, Catalan and foreign plays (a number of which he himself has translated), and, since 2006, he has held the position of Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Catalonia.
This study examines these three key aspects of his career, as well as Ventura Pons's film adaptations of his plays. Finally, it considers the reception of his plays in several countries, analysing his evolving relationship with critics at home and abroad.

DAVID GEORGE is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Swansea University.


November 2010
10 black and white illustrations
230 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662209
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
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Table of Contents

Belbel the Playwright
Performance and Practitioners
From Stage to Screen: Ventura Pons's Adaptations of the Plays
Belbel and the Critics: the Reception of the Plays in Barcelona, Madrid and Beyond
Belbel and the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya
Appendix: Plot Summaries of Selected Belbel Plays


Provides an enlightened portrait of one of the most exciting theatrical voices to emerge from the Iberian Peninsula in recent decades. George paints a portrait of a well-rounded man of the theatre whose accomplishments thus far are certainly worthy of book-length attention, and offers a perceptive examination of Belbel's work as a director within the context of the European scene. This volume is a welcome scholarly contribution that should be of practical use and interest to specialists in the field of Iberian studies as well that of European theatre studies. CONTEMPORARY THEATRE REVIEW

(P)rovides a clear picture of the full range of Belbel's activities and makes a judicious assessment of his impact in Catalonia, Spain and beyond (...) achieves its admirable aim of capturing the multidimensional nature of Belbel's career. JOURNAL OF THEATRE RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL

On the whole, George's monograph is an insightful overview of Belbel's work (...) George's book is a key text for understanding the history of, and recent developments in, theatre making in Catalonia. CATALAN JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION & CULTURAL STUDIES

"Sergi Belbel & Catalan Theatre" is a 230-page compendium of seminal and meticulous scholarship and research that will prove to be a seminal contribution for professional and academic reference collections and 20th Century Theatrical Studies study lists. THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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