Humor has always characterized Anabel Alonso. However, she is now changing her register to play Celestina in an adaptation by Eduardo Galán that arrives this Sunday at the Teatro Romea in Murcia. Directed by Antonio C. Guijosa, it is a more dynamic version of the classic, with more rhythm, but faithful to the original. And although more than 500 years have passed since its publication, the popular actress says that she shares many characteristics with the iconic protagonist.
Accustomed to comedy, what has it meant to play Celestina?
It is a joy, because he is one of the great characters of our literature. Being a universal and well-known character, he is a challenge, because everyone has a preconceived Celestina in their head. I was very surprised when I started studying her, since you realized that she is not as we think. She is not that bad nor is she the cause of all the mess. She is a very vital woman, she really likes life, she likes to enjoy herself, she has a sense of humor… she is a character that has many characteristics that make her closer. She is not that bad guy or that witch in the story. She is a woman of flesh and blood.
Despite the passing of the years, he is still a very lively character and the story could also be transferred to the current era.
It’s what the classics have. When you pass the test of time, in this case 500 years, you have something that continues to arrive and transcends the present. The classics deal with the great passions, vices or virtues of the human being. In this case, it is desire, greed and greed. Although we think we have evolved a lot, we have not evolved that much. You see a Greek tragedy from 2,000 years ago and we are still a bit the same, although with a telephone. In La Celestina there is a preconceived image of Calisto and Melibea, as if they were Romeo and Juliet, but no. They want to enjoy love. At no time does anyone prohibit them from being in love and living pure love. They want to enjoy love every night. They like meat. She is given a job and she does it, but everyone is responsible for her actions.
During the preparation, have you found any similarities between Anabel and Celestina?
There is always something because you pass the character through your guts. She is an enjoyer, she likes life and advocates living in the moment. In those years it was believed that the more you suffer in this life, the more you will enjoy in the next. She says we have to enjoy this one, it lasts very little, and we’ll see what happens. In that we are equal. She also takes a lot of pride in her work. There are many things in common and people are going to feel more identified than they think.
That enjoyment is related to your humor.
Life must always be taken with humor. Celestina is a woman who has a great sense of humor. That is what makes us able to survive the dramas that happen in our lives. It is the best medicine to treat bitterness.
How has the preparation process been?
We memorized the text little by little because you have to know it to be able to move on scene. I have done a lot of research and I have tried not to look too much at my predecessors because you always want to imitate. I have enlightened myself, but without wanting to emulate any of them. I have made a more vital Celestina, which does not stop throughout the performance. She is a great actress, better than me. She gives what she wants to every person who stands in front of her. Inside a Celestina, I have tried to make several. It has been laborious, but fascinating.
“When I decided that I wanted to dedicate myself to this, I was satisfied with getting ahead. I didn’t think I was going to be fighting until now”
The work has already toured much of Spain. How has the reception been from the public?
Wonderful. We are really enjoying the performance and the public’s reception. Almost all the theaters are full and the audience applauds heartily. They rediscover the work La Celestina. We are very happy.
He comments that the theaters are full. With the rise of platforms, it will be a great satisfaction.
We have always talked about the crisis of the theater. Now with so much entertainment on offer, the theatrical event, which is live and you share it with a series of people, makes people like to experience that sensation more. That function will not be the same as the one that will be done tomorrow. It is something unique and unrepeatable. There is contact with people beyond the screens. People really want to go to the theater.
Returning to his career, at the end of the eighties he debuted on television. Did I imagine that you were going to live everything you experienced?
Not at all. When I decided that I wanted to dedicate myself to this, I was satisfied with getting ahead. I didn’t think I was going to be fighting until now. In this job you are on a project and you don’t know if the next one will be the next day or in a year. There is that uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen to your life. It catches us with a lot of experience. I didn’t think I would work and do everything I’ve done.
How do you work on that uncertainty so that it doesn’t end in anxiety or stress?
It’s complicated. We start with an advantage because it is something inherent to this job. It makes you more of a survivor. You don’t depend on others. If the phone doesn’t ring, I get busy. I am my work instrument.
Presenter, actress, contestant on some shows, comedian… Is there any facet of Anabel that we still don’t know?
I like to play all the possible keys. The good thing about this profession is that it is not monotonous at all. I’ve been doing a series for nine years, they asked me if I was bored, but it never happened. In a theater performance, every day the audience is different and you discover things. I have always been very bold. If you have to sing, you sing; If you have to cook, you cook. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t turn out well. It’s worth the risk. Sometimes you are surprised that you have to trust yourself more.