Viggo Mortensen pulls out of “Purgatorio” in Madrid

Viggo has made an announcement regarding his appearance in the up and coming play Purgatorio due to begin in February in Madrid.

“I deeply regret having to leave the production of Purgatorio. The intensive work with writer Ariel Dorfman and director Josep María Mestres in El Teatro Español has almost lasted a year. Despite the changes and postponements that have been necessary during this past year, a way to go on had always been found.

Now, due to the recent worsening of my mother´s health, I have been unable to go back to Madrid for rehearsals, and the play would not be staged on February 12 as anticipated. In spite of having done everything possible to solve this personal dilemma, I don´t see a way out. It saddens me to be unable to continue our work, leaving Emma Suárez, my costar, Josep María and his team, the Teatro Español and the Madrid audience who had shown such interest in the project, in this difficult situation.

Viggo Mortensen”

This will come as a blow to his many legion of fans who have been waiting in anticipation of seeing Viggo perform live on stage.

Viggo was due to perform   “Purgatorio”, written by Duke professor and author Ariel Dorfman in Madrid’s Teatro Espanol. The Oscar-nominated actor, who has appeared in Eastern Promises and The Lord of the Rings, will perform as the Man along side co-star Ariadna Gil (Pan’s Labyrinth, Apalooza), who is taking on the role of the Woman.

Ariel Dorfman’s Purgatorio clearly resemble Jason and Medea, the story of a male conqueror falling in love with, befriending, or enslaving a female native who helped him conquer the land is a common historical theme in the European conquest of the New World inhabited by Native Americans.  One is reminded of Cortes and Dona Marina (La Malinche) in Mexico circa 1520, John Smith and Pocohontas in the Virginia Colony circa 1607, and Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea who accompanied Lewis & Clark on their Northwest Expedition circa 1804.

Dorfman’s “Purgatorio” constructs an afterlife where the two protagonists are each faced with the truths of their lives, and required to account for them. In this new play, the power of language and the passion of conscience meet in a place where redemption is the only hope.


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