Out of the Wings

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Eclipses (1999), Raúl Hernández Garrido

English title: Eclipses
Date written: 1999
First production date: 2007
Keywords: family > marriage, love, love > relationships, love > desire, women, love > friendship

On the beach, two friends meet to talk and occasionally flirt with men. It is a warm day, and as the sun shines secrets are revealed and regrets admitted.


On a hot summer’s day, two friends meet on the beach. 30-something Belén loves her food, although her appetite does not do her large thighs any favours. Her friend Ana is a well-groomed and confident woman in her late forties or early fifties. Ana lazes on the sand in her bikini, waving at the attractive men who come past. The beach is busy. A partial eclipse is expected, and crowds have turned out to witness it. Belén, however, has more important things she wants to talk to Ana about. A mutual friend is in hospital, and Belén wants Ana to visit her. But Ana and the other friend are not on speaking terms. Something happened between them in the past, an event so grave that Ana refuses to go to her former friend’s bedside. We do not know if Ana is to blame, or if it was her friend who caused the rift.

The women spend the day relaxing in the sun and talking. Belén gets increasingly exasperated as she watches Ana flirt with one young man after another. They spy a local celebrity, and Ana reveals that she nearly had an affair with him. Belén steers the conversation away from Ana’s sexual prowess and back to the more serious issue of their mutual friend in hospital. Ana eventually agrees to visit her. The past is the past. Whatever happened between Ana and the sick – and possibly dying – woman, it is now time to move on. Ana's own life is in fact not quite as wonderful as Belén and others might think. She may appear confident and settled, but Ana confesses to Belén that her husband has packed his bags and that her marriage is over. Ana’s ability to attract men has, to date, far eclipsed that of Belén. But now her reign as queen of the beach may be over as well. The women notice that the local celebrity is waving at them. There is also another handsome man taking an interest. Their admirers have no doubt been attracted by the fact that Belén, in an attempt to show Ana that she, too, is sexy, has removed her bikini top. Ana has been making fun of Belén’s lacklustre love-life, and finally the younger woman decides to do a bit of flirting of her own. She heads towards both the men, while Ana is left wiping suntan lotion off her hands. At the end of the play, then, it seems that Belén’s charms have now eclipsed Ana's fading glory.

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Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 6 June 2011.

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