Teatro Infanta Isabel (Seating capacity: 600) Barquillo, 24 - Metro stops: Banco de España & Chueca

Angry parent with small child "I brought little Basil to this theater to see something like Caperucita roja or La bella y la bestia , and you are presenting Los vivos y los muertos!

 Caperucita roja =
      Little Red Riding Hood
 La bella y la bestia =
      Beauty and the Beast
 Los vivos y los muertos =
      The Living and the Dead

Here is the explanation: in this case, the name of this theater, Infanta Isabel, doesn't mean "Baby Isabella" but rather "Princess Isabella". An heir to the throne in Spain is called príncipe (prince), but any Spanish royal daughter is called infanta (princess) and any Spanish royal son after the first is called infante (prince). This is just one of the tidbits I picked up at my Spanish school ELEMADRID. The word princesa does exist in Spanish but refers only to royal daughters from anywhere else (fairy tales, for example).

Although this theater has had a season of children's plays, too, the main offerings through the Centro Dramático Nacional (National Dramatic Center) concentrate on works by contemporary Spanish playwrights. Los vivos y los muertos (The Living and the Dead) by Ignacio García May, one of this type, is about war correspondents at the front and what we learn from them through the media. Finally, it addresses the question of what is death.

The mother and son in the above cartoon (obviously not natives of Spain) were lucky to have come when they did, for the very next production (summer, 2000) was to be Qué asco de amor (Love-how repugnant) by Yolanda García Serrano about the dreams and fears of three women about to be married: their experiences with men, sexual fantasies and inability to communicate. Do not fear, for, among other things, it's a comedy.

My favorite Spanish playwright Miguel Mihura had more than one play premiering here at Infanta Isabel. If you visited the Teatro de la Comedia page, you learned that his La bella Dorotea (Beautiful Dorothy), premiered there, but he has written many other works in his own style of theater-of-the-absurd.

The first Mihura play I read was Carlota, a delightfully absurd mystery comedy in the vein of an Agatha-Christie work. This play premiered at Teatro Infanta Isabel on April 12, 1957 with great success. Carlota would have escaped any government censorship because it was firstly theater-of-the-absurd (escapist) and secondly it was set in London so that all the fun was poked at the English! One of the secrets of its great success was the virtual impossibility of guessing the murderer! It has been translated into Flemish, Dutch and French, but never English. It has been presented in Paris, Brussels and the Netherlands and has been the subject of at least one film.

But I'm sorry to have to tell all you mystery buffs that Carlota is out-of-print at the moment as are most of his other works. I have bought about half of my supply of Mihura plays including Carlota second-hand. Some of Mihura's other notable works are Tres sombreros de copa (Three Top Hats), Maribel y la extraña familia (Maribell and the Strange Family), and Ni pobre ni rico sino todo lo contrario (Neither Poor nor Rich, but Just the Opposite). The last title will give you some idea of his sense of humor!

Go back to the OLD-MADRID page.