Inspired by Gabriel García Márquez’s landmark 1967 novel, 100 Years shamelessly turns the pivotal novel of magical realism into a one woman show. Tamsin Hurtado Clarke takes inspiration from her Venezuelan roots to tell the story of her grandmother, mother and herself, three generations of strong women.
The setting is intimate with a small stage, minimal audience and only a few chairs forming the set. The book One Hundred Years of Solitude might have been a thematic inspiration to the play’s creation but that is where the similarities end. If you expected a classical take on a classic book, you are not getting one. Tamsin is both the leading actress and the main character. She introduces herself to the public as someone who was born to be onstage.
The play mixes genres as it feels like a stand-up comedy; it is personal and includes a few cheesy jokes while using live music to enhance the experience. Tamsin’s performance is genuine, she portrays Tamsin, the character of 100 Years but also herself, Tamsin, the author. Her performance almost feels unscripted due to the seamless blending of scenes and the honesty behind the acting.
The play continues into a story of Tamsin’s grandmother and mother respectively. Their lives, stories and beliefs are a part of Tamsin’s identity. The world is also changing with the generations, each of the women are free to conquer the world in their own way but also trapped within the conformities of the society in which they live.
The play flows from one story to another, different characters having dialogues through the lips of one actress, they argue and bicker, they sing and they dance, it is quite the show. When the end comes, it is unexpected, but earns an enthusiastic standing ovation.
After the play finished, the audience got a chance to talk a few words with Tamsin and Scarlett Plouviez, the show’s director. Meeting the creative team which stands behind the play enhanced the unique feeling. 100 Years is simply brilliant.