After writing the humorous monologue Non solum, Sergi López and Jorge Picó present 30/40 Livingstone, a work they have created, directed and performed together. It will be given its first performance at the Festival de Temporada Alta and, from 4 to 27 July, it will be on at Avignon à la Catalane. The work shows us a contemporary man, talkative and contradictory, extremely dissatisfied, who decides to leave everything and set off in search of great adventures far away. There he meets an animal who will show him things about himself. We talked to Sergi López and Jorge Picó about the first performance and their participation in the French festival.
You define 30/40 Livingstone as ‘a show with humour, tennis and anthropology’. How do you link those three concepts?
To link anthropology and tennis you have to have a particular sense of humour. We need three concepts because just one might be suspicious, it’s a guarantee that the show will be difficult to explain.
The work you’re presenting is a creative work which you’ve built up from improvisation. Can you tell us how that creative process functions in a work which you then perform time after time?
We’re two people who try to come to an agreement and when we do so we find it super creative. We try to preserve our freedom to the maximum, as a method everything comes down to the writing, but for things to take a definitive shape we need time and that is where we find the process of creation. On the tour there’s a fundamental factor which is the audience: you can’t forget about them and they give you and they take away, that humanises the show. At times we listen to them and their reaction inspires us, it has a touch of the political meeting. On the tour we keep writing and the fact of working in different languages means that translating and retranslating is like a blood transfusion and the show comes back to life.
Was the fact that one of you doesn’t speak in the whole work whilst the other one never shuts up planned at the beginning?
(they laugh) What we knew is that there’d be an imbalance, but it wasn’t deliberate that it was between silence and words.
You’ve both worked in France and you’re familiar with French cinema and theatre. Is there a difference between being an actor in France and being an actor in Catalonia? Is the job appreciated in the same way?
Audiences are equally affectionate all over, but there are differences. In France the work artists do in general is more appreciated. Many examples occur to us: the French have a system they call “des intérmitents" with a legislation that provides and protects specific work rights for people who work in culture. There’s also a difference in the money invested in culture, in the specific legislation for the cultural industry and in the taxes, which take great care of cultural activities. We might also say that meritocracy is more effective in France than the “I know so-and-so”, “who do you know?” or “who are your backers?”. The fact that all that exists means respect. It’s true that all that may change and, be careful, because it seems we have a tendency to level down.
What does taking part in Avignon à la Catalane mean for you?
It means an opportunity to have access to a festival as important as Avignon on better terms than we could obtain for ourselves. We hope this initiative lasts and allows many Catalan artists to travel and make their talent known and that they can show their work.
Interview with Sergi López and Jorge Picó who are presenting 30/40 Livingstone in Avignon à la Catalane
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