Theatre: a Spanish summer classic

There is a lot more to summer in Spain than just sun and beaches. Summer months mark the beginning of many international theatre festivals such as those in Mérida, Almagro, Sagunto, Olmedo and Niebla which take place in extraordinary settings. See what’s on!

The summer sun not only sees Spaniards organizing their holidays and heading to the beaches, swimming pools and rivers to cool off. The warm weather also brings with it the beginning of outdoor theatre festivals. The month of June marks the beginning of many outdoor performances and they will take place around the country until the end of summer.
Incredible Spanish towns such as Mérida, Sagunto and Almagro have been organizing classical theatre for decades, in historical sites that through theatre they manage to keep alive despite the centuries that have passed since their construction.

Mérida International Classical Theatre Festival

Which takes place from 27 June to 25 August at the Roman Theatre of Mérida, organizes programmes and a range of cultural activities with Madrid and in the Roman cities of Medellín, Regina and Cáparra, in Cáceres. Its main theatre space is in the province of Badajoz, and dates back to 16 B.C. where they have been organising theatre productions for 65 years, one of the longest running theatre programmes.

In this edition, the public will be able to enjoy well-known Spanish actors like Concha Velasco, Josep Maria Pou, Belén Cuesta, Lluis Homar, Amaia Salamanca, Fran Perea and Secun de la Rosa, among others. The programme will also include opera, zarzuela and dance performances by Rafael Amargo and the Víctor Ullate Ballet Company.


Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival

This festival takes place from July 4 to 28 in various venues around the town of Almagro, which has one of the best preserved Corral de Comedias (open courtyard playhouses) from the seventeenth century in the country. In the 42nd edition of the festival there will be 144 performances, 23 premieres and 24 premieres from international companies, especially from Mexico, which is the guest country.

Among the best-known actors participating in the festival, spectators will find actors such as Silvia Marsó, Lola Baldrich, Rafael Álvarez 'El Brujo' and Cayetana Guillén Cuervo. This year also includes two additional productions: Children's Baroque and Almagro Off, innovative productions to promote contemporary creation and new languages that revolve around the classic theatre style of the Golden Age.


Sagunt a Escena

This festival takes place from 25 July to 31 August at the Roman Theatre in Sagunto (Valencia). Located on the northern slope of the city, this performance space dates back to 50 A.D. This year's edition offers a diverse programme, including the ballet El Quijote del Plata. Viejo Amigo Cicerón and Yamato: The drummers of Japan among other pieces.

Many concerts and musical productions have been included such as the flamenco-opera Bailando con Carmen (Dancing with Carmen). The Off-Romá programme will also offer street theatre and various activities throughout the city.

The Dance and Theatre Festival of the Niebla Castle

This festival takes place from July 6th to August 24th at Niebla Castle (Huelva). This fortress is also known as the Guzman’s Castle and houses Roman, Visigoth and Andalusian remains, although the current building (which had to be rebuilt after it was destroyed during the War of Independence against the French) dates back to the years after the Reconquest.

This year the festival celebrates its 35th edition, and the programme includes well-known theatre classics such as El perro del hortelano (The Dog in the Manger) and El enfermo imaginario (The Imaginary Invalid) and dance shows such as Naturalmente flamenco, performed by the Andalusian Flamenco Ballet Company.

Rafael Álvarez, "El Brujo", en el Festival Castillo de Niebla. Foto: EFE / Julián Pérez

Olmedo Clásico

This festival takes place from 11 to 21 July in Olmedo (Valladolid). More specifically in the Corrala del Palacio del Caballero de Olmedo, which although it was built recently, it is located in one of the towns with the greatest history in our country, with almost a millennium passing since it was conquered and founded by King Alfonso VI.

In this 14th edition there will be 16 productions such as Las mocedades del Cid and Entre bobos anda el juego. The programme will also include activities such as discussion groups, educational classrooms, courses for actors and teachers and various exhibitions.