It was a Friday night and we were looking for something a little different from the usual cerveza, tapita routine. And as if by magic on Facebook (it has some uses), a post appeared for some theatre round the corner from my house. Encuentros Concentrados promised to be something interesting, as rather than sitting in your designated comfy seat in a theatre, this was happening in the rooms of a hostel where the reduced audience cosy up with the actors in short, stand alone 15 minute pieces.
There´s always a risk with theatre, particularly that of the experimental variety, and even more so if you´re listening in something other than your native tongue. But I was feeling hopeful that Encuentros Concentrados would deliver something special, and I was proved to be right. The pieces were a mixture of scenes comprising two actors, my favourite being a Twilight Zone spooky number which felt claustrophobic and tense partly due to the unusual setting of a small box room with bunk beds. The actors did an amazing job of ignoring their public who were sometimes centimetres away, although one actor did in fact land on my foot in a rather emotional scene of a gay break up, but it was all part of the experience. There was also a musical interlude with some Jazz, which gave my brain a chance to relax after some intense concentration.
The venue was the hostel, la Caja Habitada on Calle Credito, which does an artsy take on the bog standard youth hostel. As you enter, the lighting can fool you into feeling you´re walking into the Sanderson Hotel, it´s feel is minimalist, cool and urban, but the bunk beds set up soon reminds you that this is still budget accommodation for the erstwhile traveller. But as an experience it worked. The pieces suited their locations, even the kitchen being utilised for one slightly more domestic set up, and I left feeling that I´d been part of something cool and happening, which for Sevilla can be a bit of a novelty.