Bush House

26th January 2018

Karl Marx, Year Zero, is Benjamín Galemiri’s latest play. In it, Galemiri brings Marx into the present day, into the Chilean elections.

The question is: can Karl Marx save Chile? Pushed by Engels and by his daughter Eleonora, he agrees to stand as a candidate to the presidency of Chile. He takes this on, knowing he will fail, but ‘with a spirit of comic resentment’. It is an irreverent and at times grotesquely funny take on history, on the greatness and human flaws of Marx, on the calibre and interests of politicians.

Benjamín Galemiri (1957) is regarded as one of the most innovative and daring dramatists of the Chilean theatre that in the years of the late Pinochet dictatorship and the transition to democracy. He started writing for theatre in the seventies, but came to prominence from the early 1990s on, and he has written more than twenty plays, many of them prize-winning. His plays constantly turn on themes power, the impact of the possession of power on the individual, the twisted sexuality so often wrought from unequal power relationships. His works reshape theatre forms through a scenic poetics that often feels delirious in the voices of characters that are both exaggerated and very human in their flaws.

In 2006, Head for Heights presented the first reading of the work of Benjamín Galemiri in English, with Infamante Electra, a contemporary retelling of the myth, and a play that was directed in Chile by the Raúl Ruiz (1941-2011). We were delighted to work on his plays again to bring them to the UK, through a 5 day workshop and reading.


Directed by Sue Dunderdale

Translated by Catherine Boyle

Produced by Annafrancesca Tonna

Dramaturg: Karen Morash


Lennox Greaves as Karl Marx

Sylvestra Le Touzel as Jenny Marx

Adetomiwa Edun as Engels/Proudhon

Amy Mc Allister as Helene/Eleanor

Robert Mountford as Narrator


Catherine Boyle, wrote a blog piece about the piece, in conjuction with Out Of The Wings



Pictures copyright Head for Heights

'Very inspiring evening and great work'

Foreign Affairs

This workshop and reading was generously funded by The Chilean Ministy of Culture, King's College London and The British  Council