Condor Theatre Company was established with the core goal of producing work with social and political themes in international settings and to embrace the political and cultural importance of storytelling. The work the company focuses on is designed to question power and establishment and the impact these have on the lives of the vulnerable. In this, their first professional work, Condor Theatre Company tackles the fascinating tale of the author Miguel de Cervantes who created one of the world’s greatest literary masterpieces, “Don Quixote of la Mancha”; often credited as being one of the most influential precursors to the modern era of storytelling.
Many years before “Don Quixote” came into being, whilst enlisted as a soldier; Miguel de Cervantes was captured by pirates and taken to Algiers. After five years as a slave and four unsuccessful escape attempts, his ransom was paid and he returned to his family in Madrid. Years after his release Cervantes wrote “The Captive’s Tale”; one of the stories woven into “Don Quixote of la Mancha”.
Don Quixote in Algiers premiers at the newly refurbished White Bear Theatre in South London, and reworks “The Captive’s Tale”, while borrowing from other works of Cervantes and also from the Arabian Nights (one of the very first examples of storytelling in literature), to create this new play. Part historical, part fiction, the play uses elements of history and biography to envision a long-running, uncomfortable, tense relationship which resonates with contemporary ideas and tensions. Richly detailed and convincing in the creation of its world this atmospheric work is rich with lyrical language and human emotion.
We join Miguel as his captivity is about to come to an end in 1580, his ransom is paid and he is set to return home. Before he is released he is compelled to write a testimony to chronicle his time in Algiers. But delighted as he is to be free, he cannot concentrate; he is obsessed by a memory. Two years previously, Miguel encountered Zohra, a young Muslim woman about to be trapped in an arranged marriage. Distraught at her fate, Zohra begs Miguel to help her to escape to Spain. Zohra has money, and Miguel longs to escape his captivity. But religious and cultural divides cause mistrust – is this a trap set up by his captors to test his loyalty? And even if Miguel decides that he can trust Zohra, he is being closely watched…
Don Quixote in Algiers studies social and political themes in international settings, examining multicultural encounters and how we manage them. The work tackles the tense relations between European and Islamic countries, women’s place and rights, liberty, tolerance of diversity, identity, trust, and how we portray history and the other. In the play, Miguel and Zohra face issues which are ever relevant today.
Writer Dermot Murphy’s play The Condor & the Maiden was performed at the King’s Head Islington in a Tricolore Theatre production; his translation, El Cóndor y la Niña was performed at the 8th International Theatre Festival Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) where it won an award for its “contribution to dramatic writing on national themes”.
ÁLVARO FLORES – MIGUEL
POLLY NAYLER – CARMEN
RACHEL SUMMERS – ZOHRA
FANOS XENOFÓS – ALI
PABLO FERNÁNDEZ BAZ – LIGHTING DESIGN
FRANKO FIGUEIREDO – DIRECTOR
NATALIE JACKSON – STAGE DESIGNER
DINAH MULLEN – SOUND DESIGN
DERMOT MURPHY – WRITER AND PRODUCER
ERIN WHILEY – STAGE MANAGER
Don Quixote in Algiers
White Bear Theatre – SE11
DATES & TIMES: 7th February – 4th March 2017
Tuesday – Saturday 7:30pm, Sunday 4pm
PRESS NIGHT 9th February2017