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Caperucita as a part of The Actors Centre On Demand Series

CaperucitaComing in at just over twenty minutes, there’s the relatively easy potential for this story to be expanded to fill an hour, if not two. Red (Larisa Munoz) is helping Irene (Fran Olivares) at ‘Les Madres’, a relief charity providing food, water and clothing to people who are trying to emigrate into the United States. Caperucita, curated by Untold Collective, doesn’t explore the legality or otherwise of the methods of travel, but large amounts of money are given over to what can only be people smugglers.

The story, whose script mixes poetry and prose, concentrates on Red and her repeated attempts to get from Guatemala to join her grandmother in America. The gist of the story is that she is sent back repeatedly but she keeps on trying anyway, and this latest attempt may yet see her sent back once more, depending on the outcome of her case, which is working its way through the courts. Many of the details are not wholly unfamiliar to anyone who has read about people seeking the American Dream by any means necessary – and likewise, there are people who will not be deterred from coming to Britain despite the deliberate creation by the Home Office of a ‘hostile environment’, such is the difference in the potential quality of life compared to their country of origin.

This is not, however, a single perspective story, although the smuggler, Wolf (Duncan Hodgkinson Legoux) is portrayed with little, if any, sympathy, maximising his profit margins by taking full advantage of the fears of those who have been warned of the treacherous conditions of the desert through which they must pass to reach the land of the free. It doesn’t help, either, that he has a reputation for touching women inappropriately, and Red, through their repeated encounters, ends up taking precautions against the slightest hint of an advance.

There are, according to the details given in the production, large numbers who don’t make it, including some smugglers. The play makes a good attempt at re-enacting a portion of the journey to America, though a couple more scenes wouldn’t go amiss. Extending the story from its current ending to cover the struggles of migrants who do ‘make it’ would also be beneficial. Does Red ever meet the grandmother she’s longing to be reunited with? This work in progress has a promising start, and a fully fleshed-out version of the story could turn out to be something very memorable.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

A picture of a tattoo. It belongs to someone Red knows… Or, at least she thinks it does? To find out, she will have to go back in time to meet the Man, the Wolf, all over again. Weaving together poetry, fairytale, and storytelling, Caperucita will take you on a journey across borders to places our characters never thought they would return to.

Caperucita asks questions about the real generational impact of immigration by following the stories of a migrant, a mother, a smuggler and their connection to the border.

Caperucita by Larisa Munoz and Sara Lessmann
Streaming from 13 – 29 November
Tickets: £3 (Available from 7.30pm on 13 November)
This is a work-in-progress production.


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