Estiu i tardor del 1975. Un pintor, amb molts anys en l'ofici, porta temps immers en plena crisi creativa. Des de la mort de la seva dona, que ho era tot per ell, no ha pogut tornar a pintar. En aquest estat recorda tots aquells moments que va viure amb ella durant tota la seva vida, així com l'aparició d'una malaltia que la va conduir a una mort inesperada als 48 anys d'edat.
The 81-year-old José Sacristán lends his extraordinary voice to this unapologetically sentimental staging of Miguel Delibes' autobiographical tragedy, set on the background of the Spanish transition.
Woman in Red Against a Grey Backdrop is a story by the acclaimed author from Valladolid, published in 1991. It is an elegy to Delibes' own wife, Ángeles, who died at the age of 48 at the very end of the Franco era, in 1974.
In a performance punctuated by intimidating pauses in response to coughing in the audience, the venerable actor tells an intimate tale of personal loss with resonant political undertones:
Nicolás, a painter unable to paint, preserves in memory and eloquently describes the decline and fall of his wife Ana, whose physical beauty and ability to stay slim, despite all the kids, are repeated features of the tale. As Spain struggles towards the first free elections since 1936, and as Nicolás and Ana's daughter and son-in-law are locked up in prison, Ana is diagnosed with a brain tumour that rapidly kills her. Nicolás is eternally haunted by her memory. Spain tries desperately to forget.
The tension of past and present, idealism and gritty reality combine in a melodramatic monologue; a befitting homage to Sacristán as an actor, although Delibes' stories are better read.