Los Inocentes, a play from Laguna inspired by Henry James

In 1898, the American writer Henry James published a horror novel titled Another Turn of the Screw. It is considered a work of gothic and horror fiction. The plot follows a governess who, while caring for a couple of orphaned children in a remote mansion on the outskirts of London, becomes convinced that it is haunted after witnessing various paranormal events.

Analyzes of this work have indicated that the ghosts are the product of the governess’s imagination. The text has been charged with various psychological symbolism, although in the preface, James himself describes her only as “a simple and pure fairy tale”.

This story was the one that Enrique Esquivel decided to translate into a script and adapt it to make the play Los Inocentes, which the lagoon company Lola Mar has been in charge of producing during the last month.

For the assembly, The Café Continental of the Río Nazas Hotel was chosen as the setting, since the company has a consistent philosophy of taking advantage of the city’s historic spaces and giving them value as venues for cultural and artistic activities.

The cast chosen for this play includes Stephanie Marrufo (Governess), javier diaz (uncle writer) Y Ana Carmen Macias (Miss Grose, the housekeeper). While the children, Miles and Flora, are included without embodying any actor, but they are a fundamental part of the script.

last function

After double performance dates were held on December 22 and 28, the company decided to add an extra day, also double performance, on Friday, January 6. It is the last intervention of the night and the hotel restaurant begins to receive the public.

The scenery that has been placed next to the historic mural entitled Lagoon Beauties, by the capital painter Alberto Ruiz Vela, shows the old local piano. Above him, the flame of a candle oscillates its light thanks to the air that sneaks inside. There is also a mechanical metronome that will have constant participation in the staging.

After half past eight at night, the first characters to enter are the housekeeper and the writer uncle. The latter is the one who manipulates the course of the story developed on Christmas Eve and conditions the character of the governess, after she enters the stage and is hired on Christmas Eve.

“The Innocents, a ghost story in which a lost soul appears at night and disturbs the innocent sleep of children. That is the twist that would catch the attention of some, but what if the story is about the appearance of evil spirits, who threaten to possess the innocence of all children. That is a twist that would surely double our interest.”recounts the character of the writer, while playing musical notes on the piano.

In approximately 45 minutes, The governess lives with the housekeeper and learns about the roots that originated the supernatural events to which she is exposed. In the booklet some reflective phrases stand out such as “secrecy can be a virtue”, “Silence hides the mystery of wisdom and the spirit of genius.”

In the end, the governess concludes that it is possible to change the history of the children and turns to the writer to, with the same tools with which he seduced her, convince him that the narrative takes a more favorable path for the infants. It is Christmas, after all, and the message of unity must prevail.

“Basically, the idea is to transform this space and give these atmospheres. We want them to feel the light, the texture, the clothes. They may not understand the story from the beginning, but that’s what’s interesting: it can go one way, it can go the other. That was really the intention.”comments Enrique Esquivel, director of Los Inocentes, at the end of the play.

Finally, The company announced that La Zarina, its next work, will take place at the Casa Histórica Arocena.

Los Inocentes, a play from Laguna inspired by Henry James