Mr. Pichichi is the eccentric character with which the company Phil Otajole arrives at Mueca. A show that combines juggling and clowning for a family audience and which won the 2016 Umore Azoka Euskadi Best Street Show Award. It is also a poetic experiment that uses football as a common thread, using the figures of the scorer Pichichi and the Mr Pentland. Roberto Ferro, the actor who brings this story to life, tells us how with humour, skill and fortune, balance and tact, he goes through the ancient art of touching the balls...
What is going to find the public that comes to MUECA to see MR. pichichi?
The public that comes is going to find a fun and very participative show, which takes football and its speech of success as a launching pad, to make them reflect on the delusions of grandeur of today's society.
Why did you create a play about Pichichi and Mister Pentland?
Because they are two singular and very universal characters. Nowadays, whether we like it or not, soccer is the new religion of the 21st century, these people were apostles in their trades, Pichichi was the first scorer, the first sports mass hero, but also the first to receive a shitstorm, storm shit, being whistled and booed by his fans. In his family he was a rebel who refused to study, his great-uncle was Don Miguel de Unamuno, they sent him to study law and he left everything for the ball. But at that time there were no professional players. An outstanding series, which unfortunately had a tragic and premature end. In Pichichi's case, the trophy does not do justice to the greatness of the person.
Mr. Pentland is the great coach who manages to lead the group towards the common good with his overall vision. Pentland was one of the first visionaries to take himself seriously, the coaching job and destiny wanted him to sign for the German Olympic team in 1914. The First World War prevented him from exercising his position and he spent four years in a concentration camp in which luckily they were allowed to play soccer. That vital experience of resilience accompanied him all his life on the pitch, where he achieved success with various teams, but above all he is remembered for his elegance, chivalry and fair play.
What role does football play in this montage?
The role of football is capital, but you don't need to like football to enjoy the show, football as we know it is 120 years old, but let's not forget that touching the balls comes from much older. Let's say that Mr. Pichichi is a show to, giving a twist, touch the balls of current soccer.
What similarity is there between a play and a football match?
The focus, the tension, the expectation, or the attention are common elements, a play is a game with the public and against boredom. The good thing about theater is that if you like it, have fun and move us, we all win.
What is it for Phil Otajole to touch the balls?
It is like breathing, something fundamental to continue living. It is also a polysemic action, from its most literal angle putting our body into play with balls, balls and spheres, that primordial form of nature challenges our touch, skill and balance. From a more metaphorical point of view, touching the balls is also provoking and stirring the conscience of the other.
¡Mr. Pichichi awaits you on Calle del Ingenio!
Friday 20:00 | Saturday 5:00 p.m.
In the show you go from frustration to joy and from it to envy and ridicule, how do you make it possible?
The balls and balloons are the common thread that allow such changes, the game and the dialogue with them in public expose us and allow these emotional changes.
You are defined as a minstrel of the 21st century, what challenges does a minstrel have in an increasingly technological world?
The great enemy is the screen, flat and superficial, but capable of generating great illusions, someone who, for example, plays a soccer game on the console, is not playing with a real ball and only uses his eyes and fingers, forgets the best joystick that life has given him: his own body. It is always more interesting to play in three dimensions on a real field.
How do you get the public to interact in your shows?
I invite you in the most cordial and friendly way that I find at all times in front of each person, I make you understand that without your participation the show is nothing, but also that respect is the cornerstone in my work. First of all, fair play.
Do you consider that acting in the street is the best way to bring theater closer to the people?
Yes, one of the best, without a doubt. It is fresh, free and direct. It transforms the squares, from places of passage into shared spaces of amazement and satisfaction, it is wonderful to finish the function and feel a common spirit of play.
Finally, is it very difficult to attract the attention of the children of the 21st century?
Well, I have seen more adults looking at the mobile during the show than children, for children street theater is still something exceptional in its day with respect to mobiles or tablets. The novelty is the theater, having the artist close in flesh and blood.