top of page

19th &20th Sep| Restaurant OPEN






All Alicante seems to be a table set for a never ending meal;
a restaurant can be a place for the theatre of life: 
for unexpected comic and tragic moments.

Like in the OPEN, the restaurant near the Central Mercado of Alicante.


OUT AT SEA - based on the one-act plays "Out at sea" and „Striptease" by the famous Polish playwright Sławomir Mrożek - is the third project of the ”OPEN is Theatre” International Festival, organized, curated, and funded by JAA. 

Unlike the other two projects - „Trance“, a collective work by young artists from Alicante in Spain, and „Impossible Object“, a theatre work from Ireland, this is an international contemporary theatre creation. It was produced over ten days of intensive rehearsals by renowned German theatre director, actor, and sound artist Martin Engler and two outstanding Spanish actors, Mery and Javier. 


Sławomir Mrożek's menus of conspiracy, terrorism, and paranoia are as fresh and nourishing as ever and open to new interpretations and innovative preparation. As our "special of today", JAA recommends a modern theatre triptych served with razor-sharp witty dialogues and a unique spirit of contradiction.


In Martin's version, he has removed one of the characters from the original "Out at Sea", giving the whole production a more refined and distinctive characterization. 
In addition, he has incorporated a part of Mrożek's STRIPTEASE and a part of OCEAN SEA, a masterpiece by the famous Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, into his composition. 


So, what’s it all about?


An opposed pair - a woman & a man - aggressive doer & passive thinker - find themselves subjected to an arbitrary power and trapped in an abandoned restaurant: THE OPEN. 


B: (Confidentially) Did they beat you?
A: Oh, no! (Also confidentially) And you?
B: God forbid! I mean, I don’t know a thing. That’s all I can say. 
A: What was it then?
B: That’s hard to say for sure. It was like a gigantic elephant blocking the street. 
Or were there riots? First I had the impression of a flood, then of a picnic. But being in such a fog …
A: That’s true! 


They get more and more caught up in the struggle for dominance between themselves and in the discussion of freedom than in the possibility of escape from the situation. 


B: You call this freedom, our sitting here?
A: But we can walk out at any moment … the doors are open.
B: Then let’s go! We’ve wasted too much time any way.
A: If I left right now I would limit the idea of freedom.
B: What do you mean?
A: While I’m sitting I can still leave. If, however, I do leave, I preclude the alternative of sitting.
B: And that makes you feel comfortable?
A: Perfectly comfortable. Unlimited inner freedom, that is my answer to these strange happenings.


As the provisions are entirely exhausted the only remaining question is: „eat or be eaten“. 


FAT: I am hungry.
THIN: I want something too.
FAT: „Something“? We must be realistic. What we want is more …
THIN: You said the provisions were exhausted. So what have you got in mind?
FAT: We must not eat something, but someone …
THIN: I can’t see anyone, exept …
FAT: We must eat one of us.

During the rehearsals, we discovered the creative dynamism of an international collaborative project. In fact, this is Alicante's first international collaborative project, and for JAA, it is a new experiment. It proves that in today's globalized world, theatre is even more brave to go beyond what is familiar to it and to work with peers from different cultural backgrounds, thus being able to create theatre productions with a new vision, suitable for a wider group of national audiences.

Moreover and even more important, we are given the chance to learn from each other, share experiences and perspectives to better understand the complex challenge of coexistence in the present days and those to come. 

About The Artist

Martin Engler (Germany)


Born in Germany in 1967. He studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" (Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts) in Berlin. As a director, he directed SI JE NE M'ABUSE which participated in Fundamental Monodrama Festival Luxembourg (2019). In 2019, collaborating with Vertebra Theatre, he directed PAPA'S BED.

Martin Engler is particularly sensitive to all kinds of sounds among theater directors. In his concept, music is not only melody, the combination of varied sounds can activate different memories and experiences of the human senses. He has also directed, produced and performed in 200 radio and audio books. He directed live on-air radio drama MONSTERHOF for Festspiele Zürich (2019-2020). His radio plays and audiobooks won Prix Italia award, Best Radio Play of the year, and International Broadcasting Award New York.

Since 2000, he has been working outside the theater as an acting instructor at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, one of the most prestigious acting academies in Europe.

Javier Cuartero (Spain)


Javier Cuartero, from Santa Pola, holds a degree in Economics and Business Studies from the Complutense University. 

During his long professional career in the financial sector, Javier discovered his great passion in acting. In the 2010s, he started to receive acting courses and training. He has participated in numerous projects, including theatre, film, series, audio, even musicals.


Mery Gregorio (Spain)


Mery Gregorio was born in 1990 in Alicante. She obtained a Diploma in Dramatic Art at the Laboratorio Investigación Teatral William Layton in Madrid. She is now a professional actress and model.

Mery was awarded Best Leading Actress at the Moscow Indie File Festival for her performance in her first feature film, LA ODISEA DE VASI, which also won Best Film of 2021.

Time & Location

Time : 19th & 20th Sep

Calle Manuel Antón, 12, 03001 Alicante, Spain

Video by Fania Cortés

Photos by Iurii Dovhun

bottom of page