Out of the Wings

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Raúl Hernández Garrido

Personal information
Surname: Hernández Garrido
First name: Raúl
Born: 1964, Madrid, Spain

Raúl Hernández (Madrid 1964) is, among other things, a playwright, film-maker, novelist and scriptwriter. A graduate of the RESAD – where he was taught by dramatists including Ernesto Caballero and Paloma Pedrero – his theatre work has been widely translated and performed abroad. He has won a number of prestigious prizes for his plays, including the Calderón de la Barca prize in 1994 for Los malditos (The Damned) and the Lope de Vega prize for Los engranajes (The Gears) in 1997. Hernández was a founding member in 1993 of the Teatro del Astillero theatre company, alongside his contemporaries José Ramón Fernández and Juan Mayorga, and he continues to be actively involved with this company. As a scriptwriter and film-maker, Hernández has adapted some of his own works for the small screen. He has also directed films of other plays, such as Escuadra hacia la muerte (Death Squad) by Alfonso Sastre.

Raul Hernández's personal website contains a large amount of information on his life and work. It can be found at www.hernandezgarrido.com.


Raúl Hernández writes about the meaningless of modern society; his work is marked by a general sense of dissatisfaction at the world. His plays are populated by characters displaying very human – and often negative – traits. Love, jealousy, betrayal and hatred all feature. One of the interesting things about the way he presents his vision of society and humanity is his use of figures from classic Greek tragedy, such as Agamemnon. Tragedy is fundamental to his work, as he manipulates its form and its themes in an effort to bring something new to theatre, to revitalise the medium so that audiences can take something fresh from it (Monleón 1995).


Raúl Hernández’s theatre is highly experimental. He engages audiences in contemporary issues through plays that are a mixture of the real and the fantastical. His professional experience as a documentary and film-maker has influenced his dramatic style, so that his plays are often quite cinematic, featuring a large amount of atmospheric imagery. Often, in fact, the atmosphere he strives to create takes precedence over plot. This forms part of his interest in finding new ways of writing, challenging audiences and forcing them to become an integral part of the dramatic experience. With reference to Los malditos (The Damned) for example, Hernández talks about adhering to a ‘dramaturgy of destruction’, in which characters are pushed to the limits of psychological and physical exhaustion, and in which spectators must make an effort to make sense of a deliberately hermetic plot (Hernández 1997).

  • Hernández Garrido, Raúl. 1997. ‘Los surcos de la lluvia: Algunas reflexiones sobre experiencias en la escritura teatral contemporánea’. In Cuadernos de Dramaturgia 2. Alicante, Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert (in Spanish)

Plays in the database
Useful reading and websites

Entry written by Gwynneth Dowling. Last updated on 13 October 2011.

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