Theater slams boycott call over Catalan secession row

Actor attempted to get play blackballed after star signed manifesto for Catalonia to remain Spanish

Carmen Machi in the play Juicio a una zorra.
Carmen Machi in the play Juicio a una zorra.SERGIO PARRA

A Barcelona theater on Tuesday expressed its “indignation” at a call from within the acting profession itself for a play it is running to be boycotted because the leading actress in the production had signed a manifesto calling for Catalonia to remain within Spain.

The call to blackball the play was launched by actor Toni Albá, who is in favor of Catalonia seeking independence from Spain.

The actress in question, Carmen Machi, is currently appearing in a work called Juicio a una zorra (Judgment of a bitch) by Miguel del Arco, which is showing at the Teatre Lliure.

Machi is here “as an actress to do theater, independently of her having exercised freedom of thought and opinion, which is something that up until now, all of us have the right to exercise,” the theater said in a statement.

“Sad surprise”

It went on to voice its “indignation in the face of attempts from any source to boycott any cultural manifestation, and our sad surprise at the fact that it is a colleague of the profession, who every day, as is the case of Carmen Machi, gets on the stage, who is calling for the boycott.”

Albá, who is currently appearing in a musical parody in the Teatre Victòria, also in Barcelona, apologized for calling for the play to be blackballed.

“I was wrong to ask people not to go, and I apologize,” Albá said. “I should have restricted myself to indicating that I personally would not go [to see Machi’s show].”

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