“You have to remove the rancid taste from the theater”

The actor and director Antonio Banderas and composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber have launched a Project together, APS, a company with which they will promote the development of musical theater in Spanish, with “quality parameters like those they look for in Broadway and the West End” and in new spaces to offer a “complete experience”.

“You have to take the rancid flavor out of the theatre,” Banderas stressed this Monday at a round table in which he presented the project together with Lloyd, which is still being born but aims to respond to the “emerging” international market for musical theater in Spanishreaching Spain, Latin America and even the United States.

To do this, APS, which comes from ‘Amigos para siempre’ -a song written for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games with music by Lloyd-, will begin by bringing to the stage, precisely, works by the British author, such as ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Evita’, ‘Sunset Boulevard’, or ‘Song and Dance’, the latter in which Banderas has great interest. Later, the possibility of developing proposals by Spanish composers will be studied.

“Right now we have a very strong work by Andrew, with the experience of professionals and with the idea of ​​doing musical theater in Spanish at high levels of quality. It’s not just a producer“, Banderas has indicated, in statements collected by Europa Press.

The actor from Malaga has stressed that the works to be carried out have not yet been defined and “there is no specific date of assembly“, but this summer work will begin on the launch of “one or two” proposals and the appropriate spaces will be sought.

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This project, which had its germ in a dinner of the composer and the interpreter in London, will prioritize the translation of works. Specifically, he will once again translate old works “touching the different accents and modalities of Spanish.”

“We have to adapt works in a specific way to the different ways of speaking Spanish. It is a way of understanding each other better and it is a sign of respect for the communities,” Banderas defended in this regard.

In this sense, it has been advanced that Lloyd’s works developed by APS will begin to be translated again. In fact, the actor has proposed to Roser Battle to carry out this task.

On the other hand, the initiative will bet on theatrical evenings, surrounding the stage“the center of the operation”, of other spaces that the spectator likes, such as restaurants or musical shows.

Banderas, who does not rule out acting in the productions that APS will promote, has affirmed that his intention is to take these shows to traditional theaters but, especially, to alternative spaces, including buildings that can be adapted. Lloyd has given the go-ahead to this because in today’s theater spaces are sought “as flexible as possible”, such as the ‘black box’.

Precisely, this simple design black box scenario ideais what Banderas “likes” the most as a director and creator, since these spaces provide three-dimensionality”, he highlighted.

“There is no Netflix for the theater”

The commitment to this quality musical theater project in new spaces is for the actor an opportunity to modernize the theater, an art that always “has some truth”.

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“In times of crisis the theaters fill up. It is a show in which it is difficult to deceive, people recognize themselves in it in a more direct way”the interpreter has asserted, to add that the theater “is unchangeable and survives” even in times of crisis.

In this regard, he has warned that the numbers show that cinema and its formats are changing. “The cinema will be for romantic groups only or for those films that generate a lot of expectation (…). The drop in viewers has been dramatic,” he lamented. In this regard, he has set an example of one of his latest films ‘Official Competition’, in which he participates alongside Penélope Cruz and Óscar Martínez: “Seven years ago he would have made eight million and now it hasn’t reached one.

Faced with this dilution of the cinema experience, Banderas is safe in his new bet. “There is no Netflix for the theater”he has sentenced, to clarify that, despite everything, he does not give in to the cinema.

For its part, Lloyd has been “very excited” to work with Banderas and hoist with this project a theater of the “highest possible quality”.