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The Phoenix of Madrid

The Phoenix of Madrid

Pedro Calderón de la Barca; Translated by Laurence Boswell

Oberon Books


“A twisty-turny 17th century romp...deliciously wordy play an express-pace farce.” –The Stage

“It's a kind of Golden Age farce of the ‘No sex please, we're Spanish’ variety...quite fun...[Boswell’s] done a sparky job with the romantic farce” –Guardian

“A knotty-plotty, swashbuckling comedy that lampoons 17th Century idiocies while reminding us that male and female follies in matters amorous remain one of the great constants.” –Daily Telegraph


Don Pedro has it all – high position, wealth, a beautiful family – and enjoys the good life in the heart of the Spanish capital. But now he faces a challenge that would test the patience of a saint. It is time to marry off his daughters. It’s bad enough that his eldest Beatriz is both obsessed by the latest fashions and talks like a university professor, but his youngest Leonor is already enjoying illicit midnight trysts with her lover and is in no mood to accept an arranged marriage. Throw into this explosive mix the extravagant young man about town, Don Alonso, who thinks all women, like all plays, are excellent on the first night and boring on the second, and you have the recipe for an hilarious comedy that reaches out effortlessly across the centuries.


Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born in Madrid, he was educated by the Jesuits, studies law and philosophy, and for 10 years served in the Milanese and in Flanders.


Laurence Boswell began his career as an Assistant Director at The Royal Shakespeare Company, and until recently was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre in London.


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