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Miguel Mihura Santos

Personal information
Surname: Mihura Santos
First name: Miguel
Commonly known as: Miguel Mihura
Born: 21 July 1905, Madrid, Spain
Died: 28 October 1977

Miguel Mihura (1905-77) was introduced to theatre early. His father was an actor and theatre producer, although his own career in the theatre came in later life. His first play, Tres sombreros de copa (Three Top Hats), was written in 1932 but was not actually performed until 1952. Before this, Mihura worked as a newspaper illustrator, wrote film scripts and, between 1941 and 1944, ran his own satirical magazine, La Codorniz. His work in television and film was popular both in Spain and internationally. In terms of theatre, Mihura wrote 23 plays and directed and produced many of these. He was twice awarded Spain’s National Theatre Prize, in 1952 for Tres sombreros de copa, and again in 1959 with Maribel y la extraña familia (Maribel and the Strange Family). Mihura is considered a significant figure in Spanish theatre, specifically because his plays helped revitalise the way in which dramatic comedy was performed and, in turn, appreciated by audiences. Mihura died in Madrid and is buried in San Sebastian, the town where he lived during the Spanish Civil War.


Despite the comical aspect of Miguel Mihura’s work, his plays also contain tinges of sadness. His theatre is full of tensions between characters’ social responsibilities and their individual freedom. The settings of his plays are predominantly domestic, such as the marital home, in which he dramatises conflicts between individuals.


Mihura’s theatre has been likened to the Theatre of the Absurd. This is because his plays often feature absurd, incongruent elements and are characterised by physical and linguistic humour. Many of his plays, such as Tres sombreros de copa (Three Top Hats), lend themselves to exuberant productions but can also be performed more subtly – as was the own playwright’s preference. Mihura also examines the boundaries of reality and illusion in his works. He does this by incorporating absurd and fantastical elements into scenes of everyday life.

Plays in the database

Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 13 October 2010.

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