L'habitació del costat

informació obra

Julio Manrique
Pol López, Ivan Benet, Carlota Olcina , Mireia Aixalà, Xavi Ricart, Alba Florejachs, Adeline Flaun
Alejandro Andújar
Jaume Ventura
Damien Bazin
Composició musical:
Carles Pedragosa
La Brutal, La Villarroel

Segona meitat del segle XIX, als afores de Nova York, durant l’anomenada “època victoriana”.
Un metge fascinat pel progrés científic i tecnològic, el doctor Givings, experimenta amb l’ús d’un insòlit aparell elèctric que hauria de servir per curar tot tipus de disfuncions i neurosis de naturalesa sexual: un vibrador (en la seva versió més primitiva).
Mentrestant, la seva jove i vital esposa, la senyora Givings, està patint serioses dificultats per alletar i alimentar convenientment el nadó d’ambdós, cosa que la té molt preocupada. I, alhora, experimenta una creixent curiositat respecte a les extravagants teràpies que el seu marit, amb el màxim secret, practica a l’habitació del costat...

Crítica: L'habitació del costat


Power to the passions

per Alx Phillips

Julio Manrique's pitch-perfect production captures the comedy and charm of Sarah Ruhl's provocative play. Set in America in the late 19th century, at the time of Thomas Edison's invention of electrical lighting, the pioneering Dr. Givings (Ivan Benet) receives female patients complaining of 'hysteria', to whom he soberly applies a recent invention as treatment: a vibrator. 

Written in 2009, Ruhl's play touches on many themes, among them gender relations, science and nature, and the public and private worlds which in the 19th century were starkly divided, with much hypocrisy in the gap between. 

In this Catalan production the casting is inspired: Mrs. Givings (Carlota Ocina) is a lively, garrulous figure to Dr. Givings' buttoned up sobriety – but the spark between them is evident. Less so that between his patient, the nervy Mrs. Daldry (Mireia Aixalà) and her pompous wet fish of a husband, (Xavi Ricart). Add to this mix the more 'modern' figures: the doctor's assistant Annie (Alba Florejachs), an outcast in this corseted world, and Elizabeth (Adeline Flaun), a servant whose morality and gentility spotlight the immaturity of her employers, as well as the tragic constraints of her own life. Then there is arguably the most contemporary figure of them all: conventional outsider Leo (Pol Lopez), an artist from a wealthy family, whose apparent adventurous spirit barely conceals his unscrupulous egotism. 

Thomas Edison is credited with the development of many devices in electric power generation and mass communication, most of which are now being blamed for an insomnia epidemic. In L'habitació del costat the expectations of a society on the brink of a tremendous transformation – that which led a century on to the digital revolution – are summed up in the words of Catherine Givings: 'On, off, on, off... we shall be like gods!' It marks the dawning of an age of a desire for instant gratification, which highlights what has remained in the dark ages: compassion and emotion, human responses that cannot be satisfied by science.