The Castillo de Peñíscola, also known as Castillo de Papa Luna, is a fortress located in the highest area of the rock upon which the old town of Peñíscola is situated. It was built in 1294, and today, it serves as the site for one of the most important national theatre festivals: the Festival de Teatro de Peñíscola.
In 1997, the imposing walls of the Castillo de Peñíscola, which have been declared a National Artistic Historic Monument, began to host this theatrical meeting that takes place every July. The castle in “the city of the sea” is one of the most special settings in the whole country, both for the place where it is located and the atmosphere that is created by the setting of the sun and moon, an event that no one should miss.
Different theatrical troupes from all over the country prepare all year to represent different plays between the walls that were built by Knights Templar. Many locals and tourists also gather to see the artistic spectacles in this idyllic place, but only 350 can get in with a pass. Carles Benlliure, the director of the festival since 2002, assures that, although the limited seating space is a setback, it also lends a more intimate connection between the actors and the spectators. With a larger audience, “that magic would be lost.”
This year (2018), the 21st Festival de Teatro Clásico de Peñíscola will take place from July 6th-29th. A total of 8 plays will be performed by different professional troupes. One of which, the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico, will perform for the first time. The program for this year contains a wide variety of titles like Marco Aurelio, Medida a Media, and La Celestina, as well as plays that were created more recently that follow the classical canon, like Dioses y Monstruos. Comedy will also be represented by El Hermano de Sancho, Comedia Aquilana, and Commedia. Lastly, one of the plays responsible for closing out the festival is the popular Nerón, starring Raúl Arévalo.