Manteca

ALBERTO PEDRO TORRIENTE (CUBA, 1993)
TRANSLATED BY CHRISTOPHER WINKS

This comedy was first performed during the ‘special period’ after the fall of the Soviet Union, when Cuba suffered dramatic food shortages and faced an uncertain future as one of the world’s last remaining communist countries. Three adult siblings—a gay intellectual, an unrepentant communist, and a provincial homemaker—are stuck in a boarded-up room with an unbearable stench. Their conversation wanders from Cuban iguanas, German tanks, Russian meat, and Indian cows all the way to the North Pole, though it always circles back to a mysterious figure whose name is never spoken. Finally, they confront the question: ‘Should we do it?’

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