I still remember when in 2004 two veterans of the trial, Pablo Calvo and José María Lusares, proposed me to appear in the judgment at the Bottom of the Sea. The Trial? I associated it with the retaila and the burning of the sea bream, and I had forgotten the play... in fact I didn't remember having seen it, maybe when I was a child... So I said, why not? I like theatre, and I have always been attracted to everything related to carnival... the thing is that I started that year as Gobio and the trial caught me because of its charm, atmosphere and the good times I had... Without a doubt, what I have mentioned about the trial is a reality both in how it is experienced from the inside (almost everyone wants to repeat), and in how it is perceived from the outside by the people of Santanyi, and in many cases ignorance even reigns among us...
All these years as an actor, but above all, since 2010, when we took over the direction of the performance from the Peña Los Rayitos, have allowed me to become aware of the responsibility we have in our hands and the importance of the trial in the background of the sea itself. But what is and what does the trial at the bottom of the sea represent for Santoña? This is a question that undoubtedly has many answers:
*- History, since in itself it is a little piece of the history of Santoña with its more than 25 years, and also, thanks to it, we also have a little piece of our murguista history; since it is inspired by the work of the murga Los Parrandistas of 1934 and otherwise, very probably, the text would have been lost; nor should we forget that throughout the text some passages of important events that have happened in our town are collected.
*- Love for the sea, the years go by and the text is not obsolete and its message of caring for our environment, and above all for the sea that gives us and has given us so much, is present throughout the story.
*- Carnival, it has its origin in it and is one of the reasons why our carnival is different from the rest of the carnivals. Moreover, we must not forget that the sea bream is the symbol of the carnival.
*- It goes without saying that the recognition as a festival of national tourist interest, which is sometimes so blurred, is a showcase for the town and specifically for the festival. But, without a doubt, the work is worthwhile and people who see it for the first time are surprised by the costumes, the history, the staging, ... in short, the spectacle it represents.
*- Participation, because without the disinterested participation of so many people this could not take place, and I am not only talking about the people who have participated and participate directly in it, but also the murgas with their coplillas, the Ronceros with their music, the town council with their fundamental support, and in general the people with their accompaniment and their mourning costumes. Participation is undoubtedly the soul of Santoña.
For all these reasons, I believe that the trial is something important for the people of Santoña, and that we have to look after and promote it, so there are three challenges ahead of us, both from the first line of management and from the rest of the people and entities that make it possible: to maintain the enthusiasm, the atmosphere and the improvement that has been carried out up to now (without this all the rest cannot be achieved), to make known and promote the trial beyond Santoña (it cannot be that in Cantabria you talk about the trial and some people don't even know that it exists) and finally to get the people of Santoña involved in the trial again without it losing the essence of the author or everything that inspired it.
I hope to count on you, reader, to help us achieve these challenges, and we remain open to any contributions you can make.
A big hug, and enjoy the Trial at the Bottom of the Sea.
Daniel San Emeterio Nava
President of the Peña Los Rayitos