My point of view #26

MY POINT OF VIEW 26 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

How can we claim to know anything about a people if we don't know what makes them laugh?

Laughter unites and increases the feeling of having things in common, it produces a sensation of being at ease with other people, and it gives us information about the person we share our laughter with. In addition to all this, it is usually a reliable indication of character; not always, I know, but that's another question…

This is why when we want to learn more about another culture, we should do everything we can to find out what has them in stitches with laughter, what kinds of jokes or funny stories get them howling, and which theatrical gestures are infallible if you want to see a smile in less than 3 seconds flat. The problem is that, very often, laughter is related to the spoken word, and this can mean that outsiders find it hard to understand who we are and what makes us laugh.

At the moment though, there is a show on in Barcelona that no-one visiting the city should miss if they want to get to know more about this group of human beings known as the Catalans.  

In fact every people has its own humorists and comic actors, and we have, among others, "Tricicle."

 For several weeks now the Tricicle Company's latest show, "Garrick", has been playing at the city's Poliorama Theatre. This is a unique opportunity to laugh the way the Catalans do, but without needing to understand Catalan. One of the great merits of this theatre company is that they have succeeded in making three generations laugh without ever saying a single word. They work only with their bodies, their expressions, their faces, their gestures, the looks they give and the sounds they make…

They call it "action theatre", and like to think that they put on a show that can please both a 2-year-old child or a 120-year-old very senior citizen. Personally, I think they do much more than that.

If you go to see "Tricicle", make sure you have your eyes wide open and your ears attentive. Glue you eyes on the stage and keep your ears tuned to the audience. You'll soon notice how we all laugh at the same times, and that their humour is both universal and at the same time very much a part of our identity.

After the show, the 3 members of "Tricicle" always go out into the foyer of the theatre to thank the people who have come to see them. Each is grateful to the other for being there, for laughing, for sharing …And the way things are these days, that's something not to be missed.

While I was enjoying the performance last week I started thinking: Is it really possible that they still make one another laugh among themselves? Do they still find it hard not to burst out laughing at some point during the performance?  Do they still stay afterwards to have supper together behind stage, even after 30 years of working together?  I don't know the answers to all these questions, but I like to think that the answer in each case is "yes"; that they still make one another laugh, that they still can't help bursting out laughing, and that they do indeed still have supper together from time to time. At least, that's what I like to think.

QUESTION: Why Barcelona?
ANSWER: Because despite it all, we still haven't lost our sense of humour.

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