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CASA Latin American Festival 2017 : 3 Sept. - 28 Oct.

CASA Latin American Festival 2017 : 3 Sept. - 28 Oct.

‘Casa’, meaning home in Spanish and Portuguese is exactly what CASA is: a home for Latin American theatre and culture in the UK where artists, audiences and participants of all backgrounds are welcome. To celebrate their tenth anniversary this year, CASA will build a new home at Southwark Playhouse in the heart of London’s biggest Latin American community.

UK Week is an integral part of CASA’s programme, supporting, developing and celebrating the incredible talent of Latin American artists in the UK. The week kicks off with a repertory season of brand new full length works by some of the UK’s most exciting Latin American artists and will conclude with a super Saturday featuring new performances by CASA associate artists such as Victor Esses’s Where to Belong. It will also include a series of open professional development workshops led by Artistic Director Daniel Goldman.

Running alongside UK Week will be an eight-week festival, in partnership with Out Of The Wings, of free play readings by Latin America’s most exciting contemporary voices, showing every Saturday across Arcola and Southwark Playhouse. CASA 2017 will culminate with Here we cook with love by award-winning chef Martin Morales who steps out of the kitchen to share heartfelt stories from his childhood.

CASA have also released exclusive details of their all day and night opening party on Sunday 3rdSeptember, celebrating the UK’s Latin American connection at Lost Rivers Elephant, and the Arcola’s CASA late night mid-festival party on Saturday 30th September.

The powerful programme for UK Week and beyond is as follows:

Autoreverse by Florencia Cordeu

(Wed 11th Oct, 8pm; Fri 13th Oct, 9.30pm; Sat 14th Oct, 8pm)

Malena returns from Chile with a box of old cassette tapes. Back in the 70s, when her family were political exiles, these tapes were their only way to communicate with relatives back home. Now, alone in London on her 40th birthday, Malena dares to listen to the tapes again in this moving piece about the fragility of memory. Will Malena find the key to her future in the voices from her past?

Stardust by Miguel Hernando Torres Umba & Blackboard Theatre

(Wed 11th Oct, 9.30pm Thurs 12th Oct, 8pm; Sat 14th Oct, 9.30pm)

Colombian artist Miguel Hernando Torres Umba and Blackboard Theatre invite audiences on a journey into Latin America’s heart of darkness in this brand new visually stunning physical theatre performance that looks at the human cost of the chain of events that turns the sacred coca leaf into a line of cocaine. Combining powerful visual imagery and incredible physicality, Stardust questions his and the western world’s responsibility in a trade that kills thousands back home in Latin America.

I Occur here by Oh Dear! (Mariana Aristizabal & Malena Arcucci)

(Thurs 12th Oct, 9.30pm; Fri 13th Oct, 8pm, Sat 14th Oct, 6.30pm)

Four performers embark on a journey to start over. But is that even possible? As they pack up their belongings, say goodbye to the past and step forward towards the opportunity to reinvent themselves, and become someone entirely new, can reality match their expectations? I Occur Here gathers from the experiences of London-based international artists to redefine the notion of home and explore our seemingly unending capacity for adaptation.

Where to belong by Victor Esses (Sat 14th Oct 3.30pm)

What does belonging mean to you? In January 2017, Victor visited his parents’ homeland of Lebanon for the first time. Nine months later, here he is standing before you as a Jewish Lebanese Brazilian gay man with a gentle, tender hour of funny stories, multimedia and future planning. You’ll feel transformed, challenged and hopeful. Are you willing to make your world a better place? An hour for us all to feel hopeful, challenged and transformed. Are you willing to make your world a better place?

Here we cook with love by Martin Morales

(Saturday 28th Oct, 3.30pm)

Award-winning chef Martin Morales steps out of the kitchen to share heartfelt stories from his childhood in 1970s Peru while he prepares a series of delicious Andean dishes for you to taste. This is a work in progress showing of what promises to be delicious collision of food and stories, cooked and told with love. Travel with Martin on a captivating autobiographical journey as he recounts growing up and learning to cook con mucho cariño against the backdrop of Lima’s food markets, the death trap mountain roads of the Andes and the ever-present danger of the Shining Path.

CASA Latin American Play Reading Festival

(9th Sept, 16th Sept and 23rd Sept, 1pm at Arcola)

(30th Sept, 7th Oct, 14th Oct, 21st Oct and 28th Oct, 1.30pm at Southwark Playhouse)

For 2017, CASA have partnered with Out Of The Wings to present stage readings of eight English-language translations of incredible Latin American plays from across the entire
continent. Every Saturday throughout the festival, audiences will be invited to discover some of Latin America’s most exciting voices and all the play readings are free to attend. For more information, visit www.casafestival.org.uk.

CASA 2017’s programme at Southwark Playhouse also includes:

Otelo by Viajeinmóvil, 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. 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. Directed by acclaimed Susan Damasceno,
Osmo features a masterful performance by Donizeti Mazonas who delivers the show fully naked in an open aquarium. This hilarious and deliciously macabre show has shocked and rocked audiences across Brazil. Performed in Portuguese with English surtitles.

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. 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. 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.

Join in the celebrations with CASA 2017’s fun-filled parties:

Happy Cumple CASA (Sunday 3rd September, 12pm – 11pm)

Lost Rivers Elephant, Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB

CASA 2017 opens with a celebration of its 10-year anniversary at Lost Rivers in Elephant and Castle. This will be an all day and night party, celebrating the UK’s Latin American connection, featuring children’s activities including mask making and face painting from 12pm till 3pm, arts and craft stalls, London’s best arepas from Guasacaca, a Brazilian Sarau Open Mic Artist event, dance workshops and live music from amazing bands Choro Alvorada and London’s favourite LatAm hip-hop collective Ministros de la Habana featuring Lolo MC.

Arcola CASA party (Saturday 30th September, 10.30pm - 3am)

Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin St, Dalston, London E8 3DL

Dance the night away at the Arcola at CASA’s late night mid-festival party, featuring live music from celebrated Afro-Venezuelan funk psychedelic band Tonto Malembe, followed by extended DJ sets from Colombian sensations Maricumbia and CASA resident DJ, DJ Chilango.

CASA Latin American Festival has joined forces with two of London’s leading off-West End theatres Southwark Playhouse and Arcola Theatre. It will commence at Arcola with Sergio Blanco’s highly-acclaimed Thebes Land returning for a five-week run from Wednesday 6th September – Saturday 7th October 2017.

CASA is supported by an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts.

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