“Denarius World is simple and happy on the surface. Everything is fast-paced, instantaneous and efficient. Denarius World is perfectly round shaped… like a coin that starts spinning in the same way a spinning top does… and then is when we discover its two faces.” With these words, Barcelona-based theatre company, PuntMoc – composed by the three brothers Héctor, Juli and Guillem Boada Ferrer – introduces their last work, Denarius World, directed by the Italian artists Valentina Temussi and Oscar Valsecchi.

Presented in several international festivals (La Mostra de Igualada, Trapezi in Reus), and in theatres such as the Teatro del Raval, Denarius World is exactly this: a coin that starts spinning. It is built as a series of whirlwind sketches with common leitmotifs: the obsessions for the objectified capital – “denarius” is “money” in Latin – and for the reliance on the capitalist system that is destroying the human relations or interactions.

Photo Courtesy of PuntMoc.

In this context, the vision of the Boada Ferrer brothers is absolutely cynical and, in a way, tragic. The world in which the performers move is “ugly, dirty and bad”, quoting the English title of a very famous film by Ettore Scola.  However, if the world is so negative, they represent it in a marvelous way, using the weapons of poetic farce and surreal humor. In other words, if for Karl Marx, “History” is the first tragedy, then farce, in Denarius World the tragic reality can be exorcised by the farce.

Photo Courtesy of PuntMoc.

The Boada Ferrer brothers are incredibly strong physical and movement-based performers, capable – thanks also to the directing of Temussi and Valsecchi – of moving clearly from clowning to mime – very poetically like in the beginning with the “old men” – to other sections in which stunning physical skills go together with a great use of live sounds and scores perfectly created by the three brothers themselves. For this reason, Denarius World does not need any particular set or costume design to create a world. The body and the voice of the performers are enough to throw the spectator into this vertigo of situations: two old men sitting on a bench, a landlord asking for money, a lady with a baby, some seals escaping from their conditions of playful animals, film stars making a movie, etc.

Denarius World is a multi-layered performance but also – because these two elements do not necessarily go together – a multi-target show: it can be enjoyed by an adult audience, that will see a clear critique of society, and at the same time it can work for a children audience. The message is indeed understandable by both.

 

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.