Hamelin: a story against child abuse

Image taken from Hamelin Juan Mayorga Facebook

The Animalario Company was responsible for bringing to life the Hamelin assembly at the Romea Theater in Barcelona, ​​a cruel fairy tale about pedophilia that has had several conquests at the Max Awards with four awards.

A dark version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin

Image taken from Hamelin Juan Mayorga Facebook

The playwright Juan Mayorga was inspired by the company’s sixth piece, in a darker and more real version of the fairy tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin: one in which children do not return and, at the same time, pay for the actions of the Adults.

The main objective of this piece is to show the reality of the world in which we live, taking as a starting point for history the impact caused by the case of pedophilia in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. The playwright, although away from any speculation out of respect for the victims, admits that without that case the work would not have been written.

The case, which shocked the Raval neighborhood in July 1997, happened when a child denounced a repeat offender for sexual abuse. At the beginning of the police investigation, everything indicated that it was the case of an international network of child pedophilia. The main defendant – also – was the leader of the neighborhood association «Taula del Raval», while another defendant was a teacher who abused one of the children while taking care of him at night as a babysitter.

Image taken from Hamelin Juan Mayorga Facebook

The piece highlights the hyper-theatricality aspects of the work that resembles the Russian writer Chekhov’s texts, looking at each human being and talking about their despair. Mayorga wrote with precision a text that shows that misery generates a lack of culture, and this lack of culture causes defenselessness.

At the same time, the assembly director, Andrés Lima, stripped off accessory elements and proposed a playful staging despite the drama of this perverse tale that shows the dark side of the cities.

Telling Hamelin

Image taken from Hamelin Juan Mayorga Facebook

The stage director participates as a narrator, a storyteller who interacts with the audience and places him in different situations that occur in the play. The piece takes place in a city that looks like Madrid or even Barcelona.

The assembly proposes a reflection to the spectators about the degree of complicity that society has in this evil, since – in some way – it allows child poverty. And this child poverty turns the kids into embryos of future physical and sexual abuse and aggression.

Image taken from Hamelin Juan Mayorga Facebook

During the play, a 10-year-old boy from the lower class –played by Alberto San Juan-, becomes a victim of sexual abuse by the enchanting flutist -played by Guillermo Toledo-, who is a member of a pedophilia network in which, according to the judge, members of the government are involved.

Hamelin won four Max Prize at the gala held in Barcelona in 2015, including the best theatrical show.