• Theater


Directed by Alejandro Castillo | Based on the book by José Donoso


  • Spanish
  • 120 minutos
  • General Audience

José Donoso’s classic is back in a recording of the piece directed in 2013 by Alejandro Castillo, involving one of Bélgica Castro’s last performances.

The story takes place at the Ávalos family mansion. Actor Francisco Melo plays Andrés, an introverted 50 year old singleton with low self-esteem, who lives an uneventful existence with his penniless grandmother, Elisa (Bélgica Castro in one of her last appearances on the stage). She’s a rude old woman suffering from senile dementia who makes it impossible for her carers to look after her. Estela (Carolina Arredondo), an innocent young girl who Andrés becomes secretly obsessed with, arrives from the country to take on this job.

This story incorporates a web of tangled passions, portraying the decadence of large aristocratic families and dealing with issues that haven’t lost any of their relevance today, such as classism, social inequity, the nouveau riche and a lack of opportunities.

This production involves a revolving stage, scenery from the fifties and a cast with four generations of Chilean actors. The staging – in an almost cinematographical way - conveys all the different nuances and subtleties of the novel through its decoration and lighting, its costumes, the movement of the stage and its soundtrack.

Alejandro Castillo


A golden oldie who is more relevant than ever

One of the most important narrators in the Chilean arts, he was influenced by contemporary English literature. He originally published short stories, until his first novel, Coronación, came out in 1957, offering a broad outline of Santiago society. He’s considered the most outstanding figure of the so-called ‘50s Generation in Chile, whose common aim was to condemn the aristocracy and upper class decadence though outlandish fiction. In 1966, he published El lugar sin límites and, in 1970, he consolidated himself as an experimental and innovative writer with El obsceno pájaro de la noche, his most acclaimed novel. He won the National Literature award in 1990, as well as the Critics’ award in Spain and other awards in Italy and France, two countries on a long list of 17 into whose languages his work has been translated. He returned to Chile in 1981 and directed an important literary workshop that came up with the genre known as New Chilean Narrative of the end of the twentieth century. He died in 1996.

José Pineda


A life treading the boards

This actor and theater director trained at the University of Chile and went on to study at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts in France. His participation in successful national series such as Sucupira, Rompecorazón and Machos made him famous, but he’s also had a long and prolific theater career, taking part in more than 50 productions as an actor, director or both. He’s also been involved in film in movies such as El último hombre and Kiltro. As well as treading the boards, he also teaches theater.

©Elisa Cabot

José Donoso

Autor de la novela

El reto de llevar a Donoso a las tablas

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