For its tenth anniversary year, CASA Festival joins forces with two of London’s leading off-West End theatres Southwark Playhouse and Arcola Theatre to offer London audiences eight weeks of brilliant Latin American theatre and culture.
The festival kicks off at Arcola with Sergio Blanco’s highly-acclaimed Thebes Land returning for a five-week run, ahead of a five-week season of four acclaimed international shows and three exciting new works by UK-based Latin American artists at Southwark Playhouse. Completing the programme are: a new verbatim piece about violence against Brazilian women and girls who live in the UK, a new theatre show about Peru and its food, and an eight-week festival of play readings of Latin America’s most exciting contemporary voices.
Daniel Goldman, Artistic Director of CASA, comments, I founded CASA in 2007 to build bridges between two incredible theatre cultures. The importance of international festivals that push our cultural boundaries has never been greater… We are delighted that we are celebrating our 10th year anniversary CASA 2017 at two of London’s finest Off West End theatres and we can’t wait to share this outstanding theatre programme with our existing audiences and new faces.
Highlights for CASA 2017 include:
Thebes Land by Sergio Blanco, Uruguay (6th September – 7th October)
The smash-hit, critically-acclaimed Thebes Land – winner of Best Production at the 2016 Off West End awards – returns to Arcola for 5 weeks only. In this exhilarating multiple-reality drama, playwright struggles to stage the incredible story of Martin Santos, a young man serving a life sentence for killing his father with a fork. As their interviews progress and opening night approaches, both of their worlds begin to unravel with shocking consequences. Will the truth be found, and can it be told? Trevor White and Alex Austin reprise their celebrated performances in Daniel Goldman’s funny, ingenious production, performed inside a giant steel cage.
Otelo by Viajeinmóvi, Chile (26th – 30th September)
This fast, darkly funny and politically-charged puppetry reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy focuses on Desdemona’s murder to explore Latin America’s horrific record of femicide.
Taking the beginning of Act 4 of Shakespeare’s play as its starting point, Iago and Emilia join forces and minds to manipulate full-size mannequins, disembodied heads and Othello’s jealous heart with terrifying results. This is a masterclass in object theatre and making classics relevant today by Chile’s leading puppetry company who return to CASA after their critically-acclaimed performances of Chef in 2011. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles.
Osmo by Movicena, Brazil (3rd – 7th October)
Based on a short story by one of Brazil’s leading female writers Hilda Hilst, this is the tale of Osmo, a serial killer with literary pretensions. While he is sitting at home in the bath trying yet again to write his memoirs, he receives a phone call from a friend inviting him to a dance. As he prepares for another night that will end in sex and murder, Osmo tells his remarkable story and muses with glorious irony on the aesthetic power of horror. Directed by acclaimed Susan Damsceno, Osmo features a masterful performance by Donozeti Mazonas who delivers the show fully naked in an open aquarium. This hilarious and deliciously macabre show, described by the company as anti-stand-up, has shocked and rocked audiences across Brazil. Performed in Portuguese with English surtitles.
UK Week (10th – 14th October, Southwark Playhouse)
Discover three brand new full-length works by three of the UK’s most exciting artists of Latin American heritage. The artists are still being selected so watch this space to find out who will be sharing their talents for audiences to discover for the first time. Previous UK artists include Vicky Araico Casas (UK/Mexico) who won a deserved Fringe First for her show Juana in a Million and Tamsin Clarke (UK/Venezuela) whose brilliant Manuelita won a Three Weeks Editors Award.
Explore this year’s UK Week to see what the next generation is up to.
The only thing a great actress needs is a great play and the desire to succeed by Vaca 35, Mexico (18th – 21st October).
Inspired by Genet’s The Maids, two Mexican servants get ready for the day ahead. They cook breakfast, wash, dance and tell stories in a sharp and revelatory piece that shines a light on marginalisation, stereotyping and those who live in poverty with no hope of escaping their circumstances. Visceral, minimalist and beautifully performed, the production explores the fine line between humility and vanity, violence and vanity, while offering up the sacrifice of two very different female bodies to the audience gaze. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles Mendoza by Los Colochos, Mexico (24th – 28th October).
An earthy, radical reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set during Mexico’s War of Independence in the early 19th Century. General Mendoza is returning to camp when he stumbles across an old witch who prophesises that he will come to lead the army. Convinced into action by his wife, he begins a chain of grisly murders that will come to seem endless. Inspired by Juan Rulfo and Elena Garro and deeply connected to the Mexican soil, this thrilling fast-paced and blood-soaked ensemble production exposes Mexico’s downward spiral into the gruesome violence that exploded into the world’s consciousness with the massacre of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa.
Performed in Spanish with English surtitles.
CASA is supported by an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts.
Performance Dates Wednesday 6th September – Saturday 7th October 2017
Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Saturday matinees, 3pm
Matinee performance on Wednesday 4th October, 3pm
Running time 2 hours 15 minutes (plus interval)
Location Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL
www.arcolatheatre.com, 020 7503 1646
Pay What You Can Tuesdays, in person from 6pm.
Twitter @Casafestival, @arcolatheatre, #CASA2017, #ThebesLand
Writer Sergio Blanco
Director & Adaptor Daniel Goldman
Set Designer Jemima Robinson
Sound Designer Elena Peña
Lighting Designer Richard Williamson
Cast Trevor White, Alex Austin