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Ay, Carmela!

Hispanic London

Our Vamos teacher Cristina explained in June’s ‘Hispanic London’ blog post why theatre can be a wonderful tool to learn Spanish. Luckily for us, one of the most popular modern Spanish plays is coming to London this month – and you cannot miss it!

From the 24th of September to the 13th of October, Ay Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra will be performed at the Cervantes Theatre from Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Ay Carmela! is set at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in Teruel, Spain. The play tells the story of Carmela and Paulino, a couple of traveller entertainers who inadvertently cross the border that separates the two opposing sides of the war and end up in Belchite, a square that has recently been liberated by the National Army. Finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, the two travellers will be forced to improvise a theatrical evening to celebrate the defeat of the enemy – but what begins as an entertaining tribute to the victors will end as a tragic comedy.

Ay Carmela! was written in 1986 and staged for the first time in 1987 in Zaragoza, Spain. More than 30 years later, it has become one of the most emblematic works of contemporary Spanish theater. Described as a “darkly hilarious and poignant testimonial to the brutal futility of war”, Ay Carmela! is a highly symbolic play set in a small town in Aragon that was completely destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The ruins, mostly abandoned nowadays, were left untouched by the dictator Francisco Franco as a “living” monument of war, and are perhaps the most powerful reminder in Spain of the devastating effects of civil war.

The play is directed by Paula Paz, co-founder of the Spanish Theatre Company and associate director of the Cervantes Theatre in London. For those who want to practice their language skills, it will be staged fully in Spanish on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It will also be available in John London’s English translation on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Interested? You can read more about the cast and buy your tickets now on

¡Disfruta del espectáculo! Enjoy the show!

Julia Rodriguez Sanchez

Vamos Let's Learn Spanish. Spanish courses in London. Spanish courses in Valencia.

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