Calixto Bieito brings the poetry of the most international Basque book to the stage

From 23 november to 02 december 2017

Bernardo Atxaga presented Obabakoak in 1988, the most recognised Basque novel in recent decades. We are submerged in the literary universe of OBABA, territory linked to Macondo, Yoknapatawpha, or Region, where the stories of characters like the geography teacher take place, in which he remembers his story of   epistolary love, the young teacher who has to learn to fight solitude, the relationship of a canon with a child lost in the forest, or the writer who discovers an amazing detail on enlarging an old school photo…

Calixto Bieito, one of the most prestigious European directors and current artistic director of this theatre, faces the challenge of bringing the poetry of this internationally successful literary work to the stage.

In this free adaptation by Bieito, the characters appear as human landscapes full of love, desire, fear and uncertainty. These stories take place in that far-off and primitive world of childhood in which Freud’s name did not belong to our vocabulary. A universe of fantasies, visions, images in the night of memory and hidden in the innermost corners of our being.

Obabakoak will be a poetic, visual and physical composition in which animals will be mixed with humans and the forests with our members. A small “Gesamtkunstwerk”.

The play will be presented in two versions: Basque (18 to 21 October and 28 November) and Spanish (23 to 26 November and 2 December)


With the collaboration of BBK

The team

Obabakoak, by Bernardo Atxaga

Version and Director: Calixto Bieito

Scenography: Susanne Gschwender

Lighting Design: Michael Bauer

Projections: Sarah Derendinger

Costume designer: Sophia Schneider

Direction assistants: Tim Jentzen, Lucía Astigarraga


Joseba Apaolaza

Ylenia Baglietto

Gurutze Beitia

Ainhoa Etxebarria

Miren Gaztañaga

Iñake Irastorza

Karmele Larrinaga

Itziar Lazkano

Koldo Olabarri

Lander Otaola

Eneko Sagardoy


New Arriaga Theatre Production