A ‘classic’ piece is one which stands the test of time – a difficult challenge in today’s world. However, what definition might we assign to a piece that not only stands the test of time, but also welcomes the possibility of being transformed and adapted by means of implementing new and experimental techniques? Well, that is precisely the case of all Shakespearean plays: they are not only inherited from generation to generation but they are also re-shaped over and over again. Gabriel Chamé Buendía’s clownish version of the classic tragedy “Othello” is by far one of the most creative theatrical proposals seen so far in the independent Buenos Aires scene.
Detached from any conventional realistic feature, the play is built upon the language of movement and the clownish techniques. Despite the director’s decision to stick to the original text and its tragic tone, the turn towards comedy is undoubtedly one of the performance’s greatest assets. Thanks to a few ordinary modern items, including large pieces of cloth, an umbrella, a video camera broadcasting live, a tent and wooden cubes; as well as the actors’ incredible physical skills; their perfectly timed gags; and the director’s infinite creative capacity, the play bridges the gap between the classic and the modern.
Without four incredible actors, such an original scenario would not have been as successful as it is. All well-prepared actors should try a Shakespearean adventure at least once in their lives, although not all actors will be up to this production’s physical demands. It is necessary to highlight Martín López Carzolio’s performance in particular: his physical theatre techniques allow him to play four different characters on stage and to provide the play with an authentic burlesque tone. Creativity is what might save us all from our own perpetual extinction, and Gabriel Chamé Buendía knows all about it.