Goldfish: A Satirical Play Leaves Its Mark

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva 

Goldfish.  Foto:
Goldfish. Foto:

HAVANA TIMES — I don’t recall the last time I attended a play that inspired me to write a review as much as Goldfish.

I saw this highly moving play, co-authored by playwrights William Ruiz and Alejandro Arango, at Havana’s Trianon theatre.

Skillfully staged by the El Ingenio and De la Luna theatre companies (and featuring several members of the El Publico troupe, such as Lester Martinez), the play is loaded with humor, irony, dramatic tension, intensity, colorful music and social criticism.

Directed by Reynier Rodriguez Vazquez, Goldfish stages a kind of television show which takes us back to important moments in the life of a character named Pablo: a common man who, burdened by a profound feeling of dissatisfaction with what he has accomplished, sets out to change his life.

Those involved in the play took care to make the TV show as true to life as possible, not only in terms of the set (which included spaces for interviews and a stage for a music band), but through the projection of brief, satirical commercials. A commercial where the announcer proclaims “Nacar takes your filth away”, a clear allusion to a domestically produced toilet soap, was among the most memorable.

The play not only openly criticized a number of phenomena that characterize Cuban reality today (such as the declining quality of healthcare services, how afraid people are to express themselves freely, the noticeable ignorance of police officers and others). It also had the perspicacity of coherently portraying these conflicts as part of a larger, global crisis.

The sensationalism characteristic of these television programs and the superfluous and banal nature of their scripts is cleverly satirized in the play.

This past September 15th, before a full house and with no holds barred, Goldfish took up the stage for the last time this season.

Promising future performances, Goldfish plunged into the depths of Havana’s theatre history.


Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.