Nick Whitby

Adaptation of one of the great comedies of the 20th century, a symbol of the power of theatre to disarm horror.

15 to 18 december 2022
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Warsaw, August 1939. The theatre company of the married couple, the Turas, moves into a theatre to rehearse Gestapo!, a play satirising the global threat posed by Hitler and Nazism. At the same time, they perform Hamlet, whose line “to be or not to be” will be the key to an extra-marital affair. But problems multiply on all fronts: the Polish authorities forbid the premiere of Gestapo! to avoid Hitler’s reprisals, but this does not stop Germany from invading Poland. With the theatre as a centre of operations half-destroyed in bombings, the actors of the Company will have to devise a double theatrical plot, of costumes, props, and impersonation, to defuse the delivery of a document that would put an end to the Resistance and to flee Poland to England, the land of Shakespeare. This means that they, in a display of interpretation, will have to pass themselves off as Nazis. In the midst of this adventure, the Turas have to deal with the intrusion into their marriage of a young R.A.F. aviator, who has turned their married life into a vaudeville: even more drama.

Ser o no ser is one of the great comedies of the 20th century. Originally a film directed by the master Ernst Lubitsch and released in 1942 by United Artists at the height of World War II and the height of Nazism, it underlines the value of its plot and intentions: to demonstrate the strength and resilience of theatre to disarm lies and horror; in this case Nazism, and to do so through the dissolving power of the best comedy. Ser o no ser is about theatre and comedians, and is a fast-paced plot, full of surprising twists and turns.

The team

Director: Juan Echanove
Adaptation: Bernardo Sánchez
Actors: Juan Echanove, Lucía Quintana, Ángel Burgos, Gabriel Garbisu, David Pinilla, Eugenio Villota, Nicolás Illoro
Assistant director: Gabriel Garbisu
Costume and stage design:: Ana Garay
Lighting design: Carlos Torrijos
Digital scenography: Bruno Praena

A production by Jose Velasco based on Ernst Lubitsch’s comedy for 20th CENTURY FOX.


Day 15 - 19:30h.

Day 16 - 19:30h.

Day 17 - 19:00h.

Day 18 - 19:00h.


From 13€ to 25€ /with discounts

Friends of Arriaga:

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

Theatre professionals:

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