This book delves into the theatre of Spanish dramatist Jose Maria Rodriguez Mendez, one of the most significant Spanish playwrights of the twentieth century and an acerbic cultural commentator. The book traces the development of Rodriguez Mendez's work from the hard times of the Franco dictatorship through the uncertainties of the transition to democracy. Rodriguez Mendez's theatre is saturated by the socially explosive concept of Spanishness, dramatized as a dazzling range of popular performances of cultural identity in various periods from the middle ages to the present. The author locates the kernel of this impression in Rodriguez Mendez's interpretation of 'machismo espanol' as a volatile yet universal articulation of Spanish identity charged with the dissident voice of popular resistance to constraining political and ideological structures. The analysis of Rodriguez Mendez's work from the late 1950s to the mid-70s is enriched by detailed evidence from censors' reports, providing fascinating case studies of the unpredictability of censorship under a dictatorial regime.
Some of his most powerful plays banned during that time have been revived since 1975, and the book includes discussion of these influential productions. Illustrations