• Radio theater


By Lluïsa Cunillé | Directed by Alejandro Castillo


  • Spanish
  • 60 minutes
  • General Audience

The misery of child and adult exploitation is the main subject of this successful play, which has been turned into a piece of theater to be listened to with the voices of Alejandro Castillo and Katty Kowaleczko.

A man and a woman are in a hotel room in Kinshasa. He (Alejandro Castillo) is a European businessman who works for a South African company that mines and sells coltan (an essential mineral used in all today’s technology and which has caused the bloodiest wars, normally covered up by blaming warring tribes). She (Katty Kowaleczko) is also a European and has been living in the country for years working as an interpreter. On this occasion, she also gives a voice to a third (never seen) character, who’s fighting to save her son from a terrible fate, whatever the cost.

Written by Catalan playwright Lluïsa Cunillé, Después de mí, el diluvio is a story about inequality and the pressing need to really see those who are invisible and not even taken into consideration. We live side-by-side with them, but their lives are predisposed towards exploitation and poverty. It’s most definitely a play about a lack of conscience.

Cast and crew

Written by: Lluïsa Cunillé | Directed by: Alejandro Castillo | Cast: Katty Kowaleczko and Alejandro Castillo | Narrators: Aline Kuppenheim and Braulio Martínez | In person set, costume and lighting designers: Alejandro Castillo and Jorge ‘Chino’ González | Producer: Loreto Moya | Graphics: Eduardo Cerón | Photographs: FatMedia | Recording studio: Animal de Radio.

Alejandro Castillo


A life on the stage

This theater actor and director first studied at the University of Chile and then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur D´Art Dramatique. His participation in successful Chilean television series such as Sucupira, Rompecorazón and Machos catapulted him to fame, even though he had already enjoyed a successful career in theater, taking part in more than 50 productions as an actor, director or both. He’s also delved into the cinema, with movies such as El último hombre and Kiltro. As well as his work on the stage, he’s also a theater teacher.

Lluïsa Cunillé

Lluïsa Cunillé

The intensity of everyday life

Born in Barcelona in 1961, she has premiered more than 40 theater plays in Spanish and Catalan and won several awards, including the National Dramatic Literature award, the first woman in Spain to do so. Her plays are based on everyday situations that, at first sight, seem straightforward but which, under the surface, involve more complex events.

“It’s a theatrical moment suspended in time and space, as severe as it is magical. It’s high-quality and, at the same time, extremely captivating”.

El Mercurio

“A fascinating and minimalist critique of colonialism and the pillaging of natural resources in Africa, with superb and moving performances by Alejandro Castillo and Katty Kowaleczko”.

La Tercera

—Its story has an original and highly effective structure. The force with which Lluïsa Cunillé conveys the presence of someone who is not physically there - that we can’t see - but who develops and reveals themselves as the main character, make it one of the most novel and touching plays in contemporary theater.

—Its skillful adaptation for radio theater is in a format they’ve named ‘theater to be listened to’. In the recording, alongside the story, the listener hears two narrators intervene - Aline Kuppenheim and Braulio Martínez - describing the scenes, positions and movements of the characters played by Katty Kowaleczko and Alejandro Castillo.

—Its name refers to the unfortunate but famous phrase uttered by Congolese dictator Mobutu when leaving the country after his defeat in 1997 - “Après moi, le déluge” (After me, the flood, originally attributed to Louis XV). This phrase is used by the play’s author to convey the tension that exists between solidarity and exploitation and natural resources and poverty. In places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s a toss-up between them, something the author takes as a starting point to deal with the play’s main topic: the destiny of children in wartime and the misery of countries rich in resources but faced with colonial exploitation before and that of transnational companies now.

Mobutu: At the end of the fifties, this Congolese politician joined Patrice Lumumba in the fight for independence for Congo, becoming one of his main allies. After the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence in 1960, Prime Minister Lumumba appointed him head of the army. Two months later, Mobutu used his position to oust his protector, handing him over to the separatist rebels who killed him. He became a military dictator with conservative ideas, politically aligned with the West. His regime was marked by violence, nepotism, corruption, inefficiency and a cult of the leader. He was supported by the United States which, in the context of the Cold War, saw him as a safeguard against communism. Once that war finished, Mobutu was unable to deal with the Tutsi rebellions that took control of the eastern part of the country. Led by Laurent Kabila, they ended up defeating him and sending him into exile in 1997.

Radio theater: This is an art form created through words, sound effects and music that together tell a story that the listener can recreate in detail in their mind. Its golden age globally was in the twenties, thirties and forties, at the height of radio, with its popularity continuing until the seventies in Chile. Worldwide, the most well-known radio theater piece is perhaps The War of the Worlds, written in 1938 by North American actor and director Orson Welles, which tells of an alien invasion’s impact on the world. It was so realistic that it caused widespread panic among its thousands of listeners, who thought the news was real, even though the story was based on the novel of the same name by H.G. Wells.

—Watch Ana Josefa Silva and Marco Antonio de la Parra’s interview with Katty Kowaleczko and Alejandro Castillo.

—Find out more about the ruins of Gbadolite and about Kinshasa, the Congolese capital, in this report by France 24.

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