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A journey to the deep of Argentine hearts

The cast from Es un sentimiento performing on stage.
By Carolina Nogueira
For the Herald
Es un sentimiento is the story of a family that shares local customs with a foreign guest

Es un sentimiento, written, directed and starred by Bernardo Cappa, depicts the pros and cons of living in Argentina as well as the country’s international reputation in a comfortably casual way. Taking place in a courtyard in La Matanza, this familiar-feeling and enjoyable story takes its characters on an emotional journey that spans everything from attachment and uprooting to appreciation and disdain.

In its second season — and with some adjustments worth noting —this suburban play presents the story of a typical Argentine family, with its familiar dysfunctions, trying to have an “Argentine day” to show Mario’s foreign girlfriend common “Argentine things.” The confusion that ensues leads to more than one amusing situation where the improvisational style of Argentines overtakes the stiff structure Mario has become accustomed to in Europe.

The objectives of the day include things like going to a soccer match, drinking mate, playing truco and eating an Argentine asado. Problems begin when the chorizo is missing and this seemingly harmless situation brings family differences to the surface.

Hedda, Mario’s girlfriend, played by Norwegian actress Berit Eik, is in charge of generating observations about Buenos Aires, and is almost charmingly unaware (as many foreigners are) of what actually is going on in the country, armed only with her preconceptions. In a fully-developed performance, Berit Eik demonstrates a wide acting range, alternating between sweet and strong and serving as a constant source of comic relief.

Played by Guido Losantos, Mario represents the dualism between his native country and his current one, balancing both cultures and habits in a single personality and alternating his favouritism. Losantos achieves this contradiction well and results in a pleasant character who has somehow become a foreigner in his own country.

Fernando De Rosa as Sombra, a barrabrava (hooligan) and family friend, and Maia Lancioni as Virgi, the youngest of the family, represent outside conflict, generating tension and pushing the boundaries in each of their scenes. Mamina, played by Cristina Maresca, and Jorge, embodied by Bernardo Cappa, illustrate the family bonds and daily routines. The natural set design complements the story well with the costumes and lighting, favouring a modest and everyday atmosphere.

Each character in Es un sentimiento gets a moment to tell his story and results in the conversion of six unique story lines into a single amusing play about what it means to be Argentine. Covering topics such as family, cultural constructions and familial codes, with a universal appeal, Es un sentimiento shows the positive side of the culture-mixing in an entertaining and rewarding way.

Where and when:

Andamio 90, Paraná 660, Saturdays at 10.30pm. Tickets from 50 pesos.

@caritonog
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