Sergi Belbel

FOURPLAY (Tàlem).Translated by Sharon G. Feldman in Contemporary Catalan Plays. Ed. David George and John London. London: Methuen Drama, 2000.

A postmodernist bedroom farce, in which an unfortunate set of circumstances compel a married couple (parodying the Catalan obsession with design and the universal tendency toward conspicuous consumption) to ask two friends, a man and woman who have never met, to inaugurate their newly designed marriage bed. Paradoxically, by the time the play is over, the bed is never used. Thirty-eight scenes alternate between advancing the action in time and taking it backwards. As an added twist, each scene is played twice, although slightly altered in meaning, and reduced or extended, depending on the context in which it is performed.

Minimal set and props to suggest a two by two meter bed.

Premiere at Teatre Romea (Centre Dramàtic de la Generalitat de Catalunya), April 19, 1990. Directed by Sergi Belbel.

Contact translator Sharon G. Feldman, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, 280 Puryear Hall, University of Richmond, Richmond VA 23173 USA.
Tel: 804/ 289-8096 Fax: 804/287-6446 E-mail, or author through SGAE.

After the Rain (translated from the Catalan Després de la pluja by John London, Xavier Rodríguez Rosell, and David

Based on the need to get to the roof-top of an office block in order to Smoke illegally, company intrigues, love affairs and power struggles develop in an atmosphere of slightly surrealist farce. This is one of Belbel's most popular plays and has been performed in more than five languages, from France to Denmark.

Cast: 5 women; 3 men.
Set: Single set, the roof-top of an office block.

Productions: Gate Theatre, London, Great Britain (1996); Theatre Four, New York (1999).
Published: in Klaus Chatten and Sergi Belbel, Sugar Dollies and After the Rain (London: Methuen Drama, 1996).
For performance permissions (amateur and professional), contact: John London, 14 Leigh Street, London, WC1H 9EW, Great Britain; email:

Deep Down (translated from the Catalan En companyia d'abisme by John London).

A fascinating, experimental text, lasting just under an hour. Two characters remain totally immobile apart from six movements which cause extreme pain. The dialogue is ludic and absurdist, although there is plenty of room for allegorical interpretation.

Cast: 2 men.
Set: 'an undefined, totally bare zone in the abyss.'

Production: Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh University, Scotland (1992).
Published: in Modern International Drama, 26, no. 2 (Spring 1993), 5-24.
For performance permissions (amateur and professional), contact: John London, 14 Leigh Street, London, WC1H 9EW, Great Britain; email:

Caresses (translated from the Catalan Carícies by John London).

Based on a structure derived from Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde, we witness a series of couples, some emotionally linked, others the result of circumstance. Gradually, patterns of cruelty and lack of communication emerge, within and across generations. This is a strong text, with rough language and sexual explicitness. It has been performed all around Europe in many languages and was made into a film by the director Ventura Pons.

Set: 'different spaces in a city'.
Cast: 6 male; 5 female. (Ages: from very young to old.)

Production: rehearsed reading, Royal Court Theatre, London, Great Britain (1997).
Published: in Spanish Plays, ed. by Elyse Dodgson and Mary Peate (London: Nick Hern Books, 1999).
For performance permissions (amateur and professional), contact: Nick Hern Books, 14 Larden Road, London, W3 7ST, Great Britain.

 Return to Estreno Play List

Return to Other Translations

Return to Other Catalan Authors

Return to Estreno Mainpage


Information pending.

Please check back soon.