Hollywood actor, Antonio Banderas, has kept his promise with his home city to open a theatre in Malaga.
This week Banderas announced that his new venture, Teatro de Soho CaixaBank, in the capital of the Costa del Sol, will raise its curtain for the first time this autumn with a three-month production of Broadway-hit A Chorus Line.
The Teatro de Soho, which will be in the renovated Teatro Alameda, is the major investment in the performing arts that Banderas had said he would give Malaga, where he was born and lives much of the time. As well as codirecting the A Chorus Line production, Banderas will take one of the starring roles.
Speaking to SUR on Wednesday, the actor said that the show "is a good choice as it is about the setting up of a theatre". The words will be in Spanish and the songs in English.
After Malaga it will travel to Madrid and Barcelona and then to America. "The idea is to take it to Florida, Texas and California, where it has never been performed in [Spanish] even though the biggest concentration of Spanish speakers in America is in those states," said the actor.
The original plan was to stage an epic production of Zorba the Greek but it would have committed Banderas to a year in Malaga, London and Broadway, which his diary didn't permit.
Banderas was keen to stress that he is not looking for personal financial gain. "I am paying for the renovation work in the theatre and when I'm working there it will be for free, or if the law says so, I'll earn minimum wage," he explained.
Banderas has created a theatre foundation for the project and has put up 225,000 euros a year to pay for the rent of the building.
"This is my commitment to Malaga. I am very ambitious about this project but not in a financial way."
The main sponsor for the theatre building, which will have a main auditorium and a smaller stage, is CaixaBank, and additional sponsors are being sought.