Whenever I see Albert work it comes to me that he uses the same procedure as a painter. He observes, meticulously, the depths of the chosen theme from all points of view and sketches the reality analysed before deciding to transform it into art and committing it to canvas.

He paints and composes much as we might imagine an impressionist working: from within, in order to better understand the nature of the matter, its music, its light, its atmosphere, involving himself with the actors; never does he work as the solitary writer locked in his study, poring over sheets of paper or a computer. Every scene becomes a realist painting, his work as a whole a symphony.

Prefaci del primer volum de les obres d’Albert Boadella
— Lluís Elias

On the method

In order that everyone can understand how Albert works the theatrical pieces with the actors, he has named his method the emerging method. He has tried to explain it graphically in terms of a spiral: that is, revolving around a fixed point with the aim of extending the possibilities in order to redefine it.

He has compared it with the deductive processes of Georges Simenon’s character, Commissioner Maigret: investigate a matter, shatter it into a thousand shards, examine them one by one and look for clues with which to find the proof that will make sense of his discourse. And truly this is how he works, and when he says that his method is based precisely on not having any method, it is the definition that best fits with his way of doing and being. A philosophy based on experimenting, on proving through playing. He realises his mistakes. Doubts. Searches. Excludes and renews, until the find appears. On discovering the synthesis, the poetry emerges.

Prefaci del primer volum de les obres d’Albert Boadella
— Lluís Elias

Emerging method

metode1Our way of constructing a work is essentially the antithesis of that of a tragedy. In tragedies colossal forces are at work, unstoppable and precise machinations that propel fate or destiny according to the inexorable laws of the Parcae. Man commits an act, intentionally or by chance, an error or a desire, driven by passions or swayed by ignorance and, once done, the forces of fate unfold the inevitable consequences. All that follows is simple mathematical deduction or the workings of a blindly logical machine.

Generally speaking in our works there are no chains of forces driving the action nor the workings of any universal laws that act over and above the characters. Many times we take the situation as the elementary unit of our theatre, the basic cell of the body of the work, and thus in the same way a scientist deduces a whole world by analysing a micro-cosmos, we work to do the same but starting with an action, a few words or a gesture.

Hence we often find ourselves nearer to the process performed by the musician or the painter than to traditional literary procedures, especially where this is the core of a theatrical work, imposing the indisputable primacy of the word over and above other languages of the stage.

Albert Boadella

On the themes of the works

Communication, the meaning of life, tragedy, competitiveness, the relations between couples, banditry, justice, the destruction of the planet, Mediterranean myths, progressiveness, personal power, everyday psychopathologies and human weaknesses, religions, national stereotypes, the de facto powers, the genocide involved in the conquest of the Americas, theatre, nationalism, the artist, art… We would struggle to find such a variety and such ambition anywhere else in our contemporary theatre.

(…) The plots and the characters of Els Joglars normally involve simple concepts. In general, however, behind the more or less schematic story line or characters of an Els Joglars production, there is a profoundly universal vision of the mechanisms of social alienation on which power feeds and perpetuates itself.

The theatre of Els Joglars speaks about power by examining all the varieties of oppression that some individuals exercise over others, some ideologies over others. And it does so almost always by unmasking power as risible fraud.

(…) It is in the insistence on alternating themes that we find one of the notable characteristics of his career. We might also confer the status of characteristic on his recurrent taste for making the various thematic lines converge at the root of one single argument. This tendency to a polyhedral theatre, so typical of Els Joglars, we see growing show after show.

(…) And another factor no less crucial in the style of Els Joglars is the ideological clarity with which the themes they deal with are addressed, no matter how compromising they might be. (…) in the productions of Els Joglars the point of view of the author is transparent. When on some occasions the critics or the public have spoken about ideological ambiguity, as happende with Olympic Man Movement or Floit & Pla, the ambiguity was in fact the theme being explored.