Pio Baroja

Baroja's narrative work has a theatrical breath to it, and his words capture the reader's interest.

17 to 26 february 2023

«If the drama is good, I don’t think it needs anything else, not even a stage set. I believe that a cast of superb actors doing Hamlet in a T-shirt would make the audience flinch» (P. Baroja. 1902)

Apparently we recommend that the stage be set “in a T-shirt.” Essential, minimal. This was the first idea when preparing the Arriaga Theatre’s new production, directed by Ramón Barea. The actors play around with the characters, as well as the body and the word, particularly Baroja’s word. The settings and ambiance take shape through storytelling and speech. Baroja’s landscapes and descriptions are impossible to reproduce in a realistic image, but the written word, which in the theatre is spoken and physically propelled, resonated and embodied by the performers, has a convening and evocative power that makes it infinitely stronger than a “set”. Theatrical art is primarily poetic by nature, and realism is its death, as seen by the centuries-long history of Shakespearean production. The cast is also the choir, the landscape, a narrative and stage gut feeling. And their words spark the reader’s interest.

In general, Baroja’s narrative work has a theatrical bent: they are dialogue novels with a scenic structure. Most of Baroja’s novels are suitable for theatre. The purpose of The Struggle for Life was not to write a historical chronicle but to describe the development of a human being, Manuel Alcazar, in a sullen and adverse setting. And the existence of idlers, rogues, swindlers, hardworking people, underprivileged people, and generous people is not limited to a specific era. The Struggle for Life can be viewed as a formative story, with the most important part being Manuel’s evolutionary process from the age of twelve or thirteen, i.e., the narration of his deeds, with the mistakes and experiences that indicate his eventual integration into society. Manuel is divided from the start between conflicting influences, between those who encourage him to construct an honest, hard-working, and dignified life for himself and others who, on the other hand, are a negative force and are attempting to bring about his moral demise.

The team

Adaptation: José Ramón Fernández
Direction: Ramón Barea
Cast: Ramón Barea, Aitor Fernandino, Olatz Ganboa, Ione Irazabal, Itziar Lazkano, Sandra Martín, Alfonso Torregrosa, Leire Ormazabal, Diego Pérez and Arnatz Puertas
Set Design: Jose Ibarrola
Lightning: David Alcorta
Costumes: Betitxe Saitua.
Sound: Adrián García de los Ojos.
Audiovisuals: Ibon Aguirre.
Atrezzo: María Casanueva.
Assistant Director: Nagore Navarro.
Production coordinator: Leire Orbe


Day 17 - 19:30h.

Day 18 - 19:00h.

Day 19 - 19:00h.

Day 23 - 19:30h.

Day 24 - 19:30h.

Day 25 - 19:00h.

Day 26 - 19:00h.


From 11€ to 21€ /with discounts

Friends of Arriaga:
From 25% to 35% DISCOUNT.

Groups, young people, over-65s, unemployed, large families and people with 33%+ disability:

Theatre professionals:

Last minute discount (for above-mentioned groups, except Friends of Arriaga):

Last minute discount for Young Friends of Arriaga:

People with disabilities who use wheelchairs:
50% DISCOUNT (in proscenium balcony and one accompanying person)


180 min. Intermission included