- Title: Laughing in crisis, Venezuelan acts out dissident Ortega's tale
- Date: 2nd September 2017
- Summary: AUDIENCE WATCHING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MERCEDES BENMOHA, ACTRESS WHO PLAYS MAIN CHARACTER LUISA ORTEGA IN PLAY, SAYING: "It doesn't matter what your political position or ideology is, you can come to the play since it's directed at all Venezuelans and the message is for all Venezuelans. This work is critical and it is critical of everyone, not just one sector, not just one side, that's not what we wanted to do."
- Embargoed: 16th September 2017 17:58
- Keywords: Luisa Ortega play theatre satire Mercedes Benmoha
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Theater
- Reuters ID: LVA0046WWKQPV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Laughing at their own tribulations, Venezuelan theatregoers have been enjoying a new satire about former chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega who broke with President Nicolas Maduro and fled the socialist-ruled country in a boat.
Dressed in a blonde wig and Ortega's trademark office suit, actress Mercedes Benmoha recreates some well-known scenes - and imagines others - in a 15-minute show called "The Prosecutor," which is proving popular at a small venue in a mall.
Benmoha, who happens to be a lawyer like her subject, acts out a news conference and an imaginary phone call with Ortega's nemesis, state election board head and diehard Maduro ally Tibisay Lucena. She also recreates the once-powerful Ortega's attempt to re-enter her office after authorities fired her and security forces surrounded the building.
Jokes fly about corruption, Maduro, and Ortega's own precipitous fall from power.
Having first fled to Aruba in a speedboat, Ortega has been travelling round Latin America denouncing the Maduro government, which in turn has accused her of corruption.
While Venezuela's opposition has applauded her stance against Maduro, activists also remember she was until recently a pillar of the socialist government and that her office had spearheaded its jailing of political foes.
Benmoha, who co-wrote the script for her show, said she watched more than 800 videos of Ortega to study her gestures and mannerisms. But with her subject still making news almost daily, the play is regularly updated.
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