Pura Coincidència (Purely coincidental) is an introduction. It’s what the audience never imagined to see in a theater and, at the same time, it’s what they always expected to find. In barely one hour, Roger Bernat builds up a show-machine, where the spectator gets trapped by his own expectations. The audience is led from the street into the theater to find themselves. Pura Coincidència is also a staging of Peter Handke’s Offending the Audience.
The audience is gathered in front of the theater and in the theater hall. Security cameras tape the increasing crowd of anonymous spectators, their wait and their entry. The show starts. The images captured by the security cameras are projected on a screen on the stage, and some mysterious characters communicate with the audience holding placards with written messages.
The show takes place in an enclosed space: from a container placed in the center of a plaza to a theater orchestra. The exterior is duly monitored by the company’s security video-cameras.
The show is regulated by the Organic Law 15/1999 on the Protection of Personal Data.
Other texts about:
You’re planning to go to the theater, the movies, you’re about to start reading a book. You’ve got a fair idea of what you’re about to see. Someone told you about it, you’ve read something on the newspaper, you’ve seen the poster, you know the author. It’s from Northern Europe and that encourages you, you’ve been told it’s a woman; the person who made the recommendation can be a bit too intellectual sometimes…
The show is an introduction, it mirrors the expectations: it’s what happens a few hours before the show starts, but it’s also the instant when the theater lights go out, the curtain’s still down and you are ready to live a new life and forget your own –that little death- while you try to remember if you’ve locked the car.
Where it comes from:
Carmelo Salazar from Festival LP’09 invited us to participate in Noches Salvajes. The criteria were very clear: less than 30 minutes, a 10 x 10 m. white stage, audience on the four sides and fast stage building and dismantling, because we share the evening with other performers.
Txalo Toloza, Cristóbal Saavedra and I started to develop an “object” for the occasion. It was about reconstructing the experience we all go through right before a show starts. Those moments when you sink in your theatre seat, robed in the darkness of the room and the expectation.
At the Festival, we showed an 11 minute piece where nobody appeared on stage. Quim Pujol wrote a brief review:
“Roger Bernat’s first piece is based on an excellent starting idea. A recording plays from the speakers the kind of message you usually hear at the beginning of a performance. “Switch off your cell phones, locate the nearest emergency exit”, etc. But this recording goes beyond any reasonable limit, proclaiming all kinds of self-evident things about the situation we’re in. Little by little, other voices suggesting dialogues or thoughts among the audience -seated there, waiting- begin to emerge. The stage is empty and only the lights change direction and intensity throughout the piece. This lights solo serves an important function, as it avoids the risk of falling into a monotonous rhythm. At the same time, when the light shines on a particular area of the audience -as we hear the supposed voices of the spectators-, we search among their faces who might be saying those words. Naturally, the stage remains empty and the show never begins, but Bernat exposes the peculiar nature of the scenic meeting through that recording. The strange mixture of ritual, institution, zoco, leisure and reflection which constitutes the Theater. Like Angela Lamprianidou, I also like empty space. So I highly value this minimalistic performance with an impeccable logical articulation.” Quim Pujol, Tea-tron 03/08/09
Roger Bernat / FFF. Based on Peter Handke’s Offending the Audience. Original soundtrack: Enric Montefusco (Standstill). Images and technical management: Txalo Toloza. Observers: Esther Belvis & Simona Quartucci. Set design: Alberto Barberà. Coordination: Helena Febrés Co-production: Temporada Alta (Girona) & Elèctrica Produccions (Barcelona).
Running time: 45’