Project Description

The Recommendation

La recomendación
by Egon Wolff (Chile), 2003
One male, two female.


Sacked from his job and evicted from his lodgings, down-on-his-luck Samuel thinks his fortunes are reviving when he meets Sofía, a kindly old woman who offers him room and board in exchange for some basic household duties.  But once inside the creaking old mansion, the young man soon wonders what he has let himself in for, as Sofía’s obsession with weaving, her forefathers’ military paraphernalia and the ruckus from their lodger – a noisy leather goods craftsman hidden behind a screen – make for an eccentric and disorienting welcome.  And all this is before Samuel meets Margot, Sofia’s equally eccentric and no less erratic sister.  In a dog-eat-dog world where work is scarce, what choice does a young man have but to put up with such disarming behaviour?  After all, dignity alone won’t put food on the table.

All those stories of madmen dying and leaving huge fortunes. Is that what you’re thinking of? And after all, with this grand old mansion house, perhaps it’s true that the general left this pair of cockatoos rolling in cash, isn’t that right? You’d just have to squeeze the macaws’ necks a little and the pesos would come pouring out, hmm?

I’m being serious, man. Don’t you think an old spinster needs a little romance? To walk into the Ritz with a young companion and, for a while, to know nothing of problems, of expenses, of anything? He may seem a little young for her, it’s true, but there are so many mismatched couples in the world, don’t you find? Come, let’s dream a little. The two of us walking into the Ritz! The lady and her lover, followed by a retinue of eunuchs! A jaguar on a leash! Perfumed macaques in their cages! Fans made of quetzal feathers! The powerful investor and her kept man!

This play has been translated as part of a British Council Santiago project, which aims to translate a number of modern Chilean plays into English for the first time.  Other plays in the selection include The Desolate Prince by Juan Radrigán, another of Chile’s most renowned and prolific playwrights.

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