Performing Spanishness delves into the theatre of Spanish dramatist José María Rodríguez Méndez, one of the most significant Spanish playwrights of the twentieth century and an acerbic cultural commentator. This book traces the development of Rodríguez Méndez’s work from the hard times of the Franco dictatorship through the uncertainties of the transition to democracy. Rodríguez Méndez’s theatre is saturated by the socially explosive concept of Spanishness, dramatized as a dazzling range of popular performances of cultural identity in various periods from the middle ages to the present. The author locates this impression in Rodríguez Méndez’s interpretation of ‘machismo español’ as a volatile, universal articulation of Spanish identity charged with the dissident voice of popular resistance to constraining political and ideological structures. The analysis of Rodríguez Méndez’s work from the late 1950s to the mid-70s is enriched by detailed evidence from censors’ reports, providing fascinating case studies of the unpredictability of censorship under a dictatorial regime.