Past Productions: Ay Carmela!

Ay Carmela!

by Jose Sanchis Sinisterra

in a new translation by Steve Trafford
  • Directed by Tom Wright
  • Designed by Richard Aylwin
  • Music and Sound by Christopher Madin
  • Lighting by Nao Nagai
  • Performed by Robert Pickavance & Elizabeth Mansfield

Carmela and Paulino, a vaudeville comedy act, have fallen into the hands of Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. Forced to put on a performance for the fascists, they rehearse their show – flamenco songs, the pasa doble and bizarre comedy routines. But as heels and castanets clatter, and the quick fire patter flows, their own intriguing story unfolds in a riot of black humour and ghostly passion.

Ay Carmela! is a darkly funny yet heartbreaking portrayal of love and loss – a moving reminder of the failure of the living to learn from the dead. And in a world still riddled with conflict, this compelling new production is a poignant testimony to the inhumanity of war.

Also an award winning film by Carlos Saura, Ay Carmela! is one of Spain's greatest contemporary successes, and Steve Trafford's new translation brings Sinisterra's funny, poetic and elegant text vividly to life.

Ensemble and York Theatre Royal proudly presented Ay Carmela! in 2006, the 70th anniversary year of the start of the Spanish Civil War, in celebration of the heroism of men and women, from all over the world, the International Brigade, who volunteered their lives in the fight against fascism.

A full education programme accompanied the tour.

Performances in 2006
  • YORK Theatre Royal Studio
  • DARLINGTON Arts Centre
  • BOLTON Octagon Studio
  • Peepul Centre, LEICESTER
  • FARNHAM Maltings
  • Merlin Theatre, FROME
  • The Theatre, CHIPPING NORTON
  • Heron Theatre, BEETHAM (nr Kendal)
  • Halliford School, SHEPPERTON
  • Halliford School, SHEPPERTON
  • Brewhouse, TAUNTON
  • New Cut Arts, HALESWORTH
  • Shaw Theatre, Euston, LONDON
  • Sherman Studio, CARDIFF
  • Everyman Studio, CHELTENHAM

Tues 7th November was a special Gala night at the Shaw Theatre, held in honour of the International Brigade and the International Brigade Memorial Trust. Jack Jones, Bob Doyle and Sam Lesser all spoke before the performance, as did the playwright himself, Josť Sanchis Sinisterra.

Following the UK tour, Ay Carmela! toured to the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, in December.

Ay Carmela!