Teatro Español (Seating capacity: 733) Calle Príncipe, 25 - Metro stop: Sevilla or Sol

Latest update: August 21, 2004
Teatro Español
Photo: April 1, 2000

In 1583, the first show was staged in a theater on this site. This first theater was an open-air "corral," and if that sounds like an enclosure for horses, you are not too far off the mark. In short, there has been a theater on this site continually since that first show, and no other site can compare with that longevity. If you are interested, here is a brief history of the theaters on this site.

The above picture was taken in the afternoon. If you care to wait, the performance starts at 7pm and, on April 1, they are presenting a translation of a French play: Cyrano de Bergerac.

Cyrano wooing Roxanne Roxana (En su balcón)
      Sí, tiemblo, y lloro, y te amo...
      y me arrojo en tus brazos.

Cyrano (Escondido debajo del balcón)
      Morir, morir, ahora. Estallar en pedazos.
      Te he hecho llorar, Roxana.
      De amor, y a cambio de eso,
      lo unico que te pido es que me des...

Cristián (Escondido con Cyrano)
      ¡Un beso!

Roxanne (On her balcony)
      Yes, I tremble, and I cry, and I love you...
      and I throw myself into your arms.

Cyrano (Hidden under the balcony)
      To die, to die, now. To explode into pieces.
      I have made you cry, Roxanne.
      From love, and in exchange for that,
      the only thing that I ask is that you give me...

Christian (Hidden with Cyrano)  
      A kiss!

If your Spanish is a little rusty, go in the theater just after the performance ends (about 10pm for Cyrano) and buy a script for 500 ptas (about $2.75 when I was in Madrid). You can read it before you brave going to the production. I always read the script for a play beforehand whenever I knew the script was available, but, in this case, I didn't find out until I attended the theater.

This is a theater run by the Village of Madrid and they put on a fine production. With a seating capacity of only 733, there are 41 speaking parts in the play together with a raft of non-speaking parts. The sets are lavish, and, best-of-all, we were able to get tickets for second-row-center only a week in advance.

A bit of trivia: the actress playing Roxanne, Paula Sebastián, also played Miss Casewell in La ratonera, an Agatha Christie mystery, that I saw the year before in Madrid. I'm beginning to feel at home!

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