Welcome to the Festival of Spanish Theatre, London

We are delighted to announce that FesTeLOff 2021 will be launched on Friday 23 April to coincide with Unesco’s World Book Day, and also commemorating the date on which both Shakespeare and Cervantes died in 1616.

Access will be free of charge, however financial contributions to assist with the cost of arranging the festival will be very welcome.

FesTeLOff is a chance for amateur and emerging UK theatre companies to perform a piece of Spanish theatre in central London. This festival – in which five new theatre companies will each present a play which is currently ‘work in progress’ –  will take place entirely online and will be accessible from Friday 23 April through to Sunday 02 May via a link that will be published on the FesTeLõn website.

There will be two prizes. One company will be selected by the FesTeLOff Jury Panel to perform the final version of their play in the next edition of FesTelõn, which we are planning to present in November 2021. The other prize, awarded by a public vote, will be to participate in a masterclass by Ignacio García, Director of the Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Almagro, entitled Verse Workshop for Actors and Directors – La vida es sueño.

A Zoom meeting will take place on 10 May between the participating companies and the Jury Panel, at which the prizes will be announced. Each company will receive individual feedback from the Jury Panel, which this year will include Paula Rodríguez and María Estévez-Serrano as ‘special guest jurors’.

Please note that these videos are protected under copyright law. Any illegal reproduction of this content in any form will result in immediate action against the person concerned.

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Adela and Martirio   Spanish

Theatre company name:   Yabás Theatre Company.

Cast and technical team: Verônica Sarno (Director)

Verônica Sarno started her career in 2005 in São Paulo, Brazil, in the local Theatre Company Folha em Branco. She studied in Brazil at Escola Superior de Artes Célia Helena, in England at Drama Centre London and Russia at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute. The base of her training is the Stanislavski System. Verônica has worked extensively in film and theatre productions in Brazil and England, including the award winning two-year Brazilian national tour of Spur of the Moment by Anya Reiss and most recently the feature Anonymous by Alasdair Mackay.

She has worked with many directors in the preparation of their productions, gave talks in Drama Schools about the importance of the voice in the acting work and signed a six-month contract with a Drama School to be the head of voice. Currently, Verônica works, as well an actress, as an acting and voice coach. Adela and Martirio is Verônica’s debut as a director.

Vera Olin (Actress) – Adela

Vera Olin is a Swedish actress based in London. She grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and started taking acting classes at the age of six. Throughout her school years, the stage was her sanctuary. She acted in smaller productions and commercials. But when she majored in Acting at upper Secondary School, she decided to follow her passion and pursue acting full time. She went on to achieve an Associate of Arts Degree in Acting from Santa Barbara City College where she received the Sarah Evelyn Smith acting award. In Los Angeles, Vera appeared in short films and was directed by Michelle Danner in the stage play A night at the black cat. Moving to London, Vera started appearing in TV pilots and joined the Scene Study Group where she met Verônica and Anna-Maria and co-founded the Yabás Theatre Company.

Anna-Maria Georgiades (Actress) – Martirio

Anna-Maria Georgiades was born and raised in Australia. She studied acting in Cyprus at Vladimiros Kafkarides Drama School’ She moved to London in 2007 where she attended Giles Foreman Centre of Acting for three years. She’s taken part in stage plays, short films and commercials. She has taken Comedy Improvisation Courses at HOOPLA and also a course in comedy sketch writing. She also holds a BASSC in Broadsword. She is represented by Hamlet Management and is currently working at the Yabás Theatre Company co-founded by her.

Tell us a bit about your theatre company:

Yabás Theatre Company is formed by three women of three different nationalities. They got together in 2017 in a Scene Study Group aiming to keep their craft alive. They’ve worked on many different scripts and as time went by, they felt the need to share their discoveries with an audience to bring more material to their studies. Even though they’ve performed individually as actresses in different productions, they’ve never performed together as the Yabás. They’ve never found the right opportunity to do so…until now! FestelonOff came along at the perfect time! The company started their Spanish Theatre studies at the end of 2018 with The Heresy of Love, a play about Sister Juana Inês de la Cruz. Motivated by the story of this incredible woman, they’ve decided to carry on with the Spanish Theatre studies that included the feminine strength and struggles. That lead them to The House of Bernarda Alba where they got the chance to experience the poetic and intense world of Lorca.

Synopsis of the play:

Name of the scene: Adela and Martirio  

*(Scene from “The House of Bernarda Alba” by Federico Garcia Lorca)

Adela and Martirio is one of the last scenes of The House of Bernarda Alba. It takes place during the last act when the play is drawing to its inevitable end. Adela and Martirio are sisters in love with the same man. They have been raised by a domineering mother under strict morals and ethics. The morals are impeccable, the behaviour is disciplined. They both want to break free from the prison their mother has built around them. They long to experience life. In the form of Pepe el Romano, they find the perfect opportunity to escape. They will have to fight their mother, their morals and each other. Adela has the guts to do so, she will fight whomever and sacrifice whatever it takes. Martirio wants to do the same but doesn’t dare to. More than a fight for love, we see two women fight for freedom.

Social Media:

Verônica Sarno:

Instagram:
Verônica Sarno (@vsarno) • Fotos e vídeos do Instagram

Scene Study Verônica Sarno (@scenestudy_veronicasarno) • Fotos e vídeos do Instagram

Facebook:

(7) Verônica Sarno | Facebook

(7) Scene Study Verônica Sarno | Facebook

LinkedIn: (1) Verônica Sarno | LinkedIn

Twitter:
(2) Verônica Sarno (@VeSarno) / Twitter

(2) Scene Study Verônica Sarno (@scenestudy_vs) / Twitter

Spotlight: Spotlight

Vera Olin:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/averaolin/

Website:  https://veraolin.wixsite.com/veraolin

Spotlight: https://www.spotlight.com/1699-9081-1026

Anna-Maria Georgiades:  

Facebook: (7) Anna-Maria Georgiades | Facebook

Instagram: Anna-Maria Georgiades (@annamariageorgiades) • Fotos e vídeos do Instagram

Twitter: (2) Anna-Maria Georgiade (@_ahmg_) / Twitter

LinkedIn: Anna-Maria Georgiades | LinkedIn

Spotlight: https://www.spotlight.com/6692-7863-2549

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La España negra. Jácara para un pícaro   Spanish

Theatre company name:   LaGriot’te

Cast and technical team:

actress – Sandra Gade

Director – Nazan L. Bamio

Author – Francisco de Quevedo

Adaptation – Nazan L. Bamio

artistic design – LaGriot’te

Graphic Designer & Social media: J. Carlos Degal

SPONSORS – CASCO, Fundación Atenea, Fundación Centro Tierra de todos

Tell us a bit about your theatre company:

LaGriot’te is a theatre company founded in 2020 in London by two Spanish creatives: Cultural Producer and Stage Manager, Nazan L. Bamio, and dancer and stage actress, Sandra Gade. After several years working together on various productions, they decided to join forces to develop this multidisciplinary project, which is built on the primary bases of research and performance, two facets of the same vision. Nazan and Sandra complement each other and, working together, they accomplish their goal.

Nazan L. Bamio graduated in Stage Direction and Drama from the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid and rounded off his professional development with a number of workshops held by Carlota Ferrer, Sanchís Sinisterra, Marcelo Díaz and David Ojeda, among others. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree under Katie Mitchell at the Royal Holloway in London. He has performed in various productions in theatres in Madrid, including #ElCasting (Teatro Quevedo and Teatro Arlequín Gran Vía), Vete de mis sueños (Sala Guindalera and Teatros Luchana), El vuelo de Edipo and La mirada del escorpión (Sala Trovador).

Sandra Gade graduated in Expressive Drama from the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid and in Classical Dance from the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Cádiz. She completed her professional development with a number of workshops held by Karina Garantivá, Andrés del Bosque and Ana Vázquez de Castro, among others.  In 2013 she was awarded First Prize at the Certamen Jóvenes Creadores de Madrid for the play Totum Revolutum. One of the highlights of her career so far is Desde la otra orilla, an original idea of hers, produced by Lafinea Teatro and still being performed today on a wide domestic and international tour.

La España Negra. Jácara para un pícaro is their inaugural production working together as a company.

Synopsis of the play:

LaGriot’te, a twenty-first century troubador, has a chance encounter with a lad who is recording certain obscure words on a tape recorder. These soundbites turn out to be more they seem at first, because the lad has been recording his experiences in an unfamiliar country in the form of a diary. By coincidence, his stories mirror the ones related by Quevedo’s Scoundrel four hundred years ago. The lad, who becomes known as ‘new Christian’, disappears through the arts of black magic, but the tape recorder bears witness to what happened.

LaGriot’te, thanks to her troubadour’s skills, decides to relive this story, enacting all the characters that the lad recorded and it turns out that, throughout the whole week of Carnival, he has tramped around a large part of the city, finding nothing but examples of hypocrisy and corruption.

In this first part

our new Christian

arrives at the Court of Madrid

at Shrovetide.

It’s a maritime arrival, because

he’s pelted with vegetables

and he nearly drowns

in a sea of turnips.

At a nearby inn,

the landlady and her daughter are

gossipping about our lad,

who won’t say where he came from.

 

Meanwhile, the pair of them

are scheming how to make their

dishwater look like a tasty stew,

and scrounge a few bob

from their lodger,

an embittered cop,

who’ll only make an arrest

if he gets a huge backhander.

And finally a roaming minstrel

who pays his way by swindling

having perfected the art

of moving the goalposts.

Social Media:

 José Carlos Frade- Instagram: @drama.illustrated

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Lauren´s Call   Spanish

Theatre company name:

A collaboration between Monica Cox (Director), Lucas Fisher-Horas (Actor) and Heather Milsted (Actor)

 Cast and technical team:

Director- Monica Cox

Playwright- Paloma Pedrero

Translator- Monica Cox

Pedro- Lucas Fisher-Horas

Rosa- Heather Milsted

Editors- Monica & Lucas

Special Thanks to Fran Cattaneo (photography)

Tell us a bit about your theatre company:

Monica Cox as a director seeks to celebrate various cultures, represent the female voice and create work which is visually dynamic. This is what drew her to staging Lauren’s Call by the esteemed Paloma Pedrero and which has fascinating explorations of gender through cross dressing. Coming from a shared interest in Spanish culture, Uni-made friend Lucas Fisher Horas joined the project as an actor and, having experience and passion for gender-bending drag, Heather Milsted also came on board.

Monica comes from a languages background (being half Spanish and studying Spanish and Russian at Bath University). She has previously worked in an independent theatre in Argentina and was selected for The Colour of August for the Direct Your Future programme at Cervantes Theatre. Credits also include directing The Seagull in Siberia and being Assistant Director for Irish play On McQuillan’s Hill at Finborough theatre.

Heather graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts with an MA in Professional Acting. She is a member of the Soho Theatre Cabaret and Drag Lab, and has experience performing throughout the UK at venues including the Warwick Arts Centre, the National Student Drama Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, including for The Improv Musical troupe in 2018. As an alumna of Young Pleasance, she devised and performed in their 2017 Edinburgh show, The Curse of Cranholme Abbey. Heather is an avid writer and spoken word artist, with work recently performed as part of The Pleasance Theatre’s Words in Progress and at Redgates Theatre, Hackney.

Lucas Fisher-Horas has recently graduated from the University of Bath with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology, he has acted in a range of student and community theatre productions and short films. Lucas is also experienced in writing and directing for theatre and film. He is currently exploring various avenues of independent film.

Synopsis of the play:

It is the night of Pedro and Rosa’s third wedding anniversary, a date that coincides with the carnival taking place in the streets outside. Rosa comes home to find her husband dressed head to toe as Lauren Bacall. But the surprises keep coming as he pulls out a Humphrey Bogart outfit which he insists on dressing her up in. It’s carnival and for one night only, they will break from their mundane routine; he will be Lauren Bacall and she will be Humphrey Bogart. What starts off as a game to seduce each other turns more serious as their marital cracks start to show and as Pedro opens up to the real reason behind their crossdressing adventure. How easy is it to break away from societal expectations instilled in us? What do we lose when we are true to who we are? And can our innate need to be desired push us to the limit?

Social Media:

Twitter:

@m0nica_c0x

@HeatherMilsted

Instagram:

@lucasfisherhoras

Youtube:

Riveraine Film (Lucas Fisher Horas film company

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Point of No Return   Spanish

Theatre company name:     MarianaMalena Theatre Company

Cast and technical team:

Mariana Aristizábal Pardo – Director

Malena Arcucci – Designer and Director

Santiago Peluffo Soneyra – Playwright

Guido García Lueches – Actor

Matías Maldonado  – Actor

Matías Di Masso – Actor

Tell us a bit about your theatre company:

MarianaMalena is a female-led Theatre Company developing theatre pieces that sit in the liminal space between reality and fiction, experimenting with different languages and exploring interdisciplinarity. 

Synopsis of the play:

Point of No Return is play that explores toxic masculinity and the demystification of childhood friendship: Juan returns to his home country after years living abroad, and when reunited with his lifelong friends, a feeling of estrangement makes it the most uncomfortable of evenings.

Social media:

www.marianamalena.co.uk

@marianamalenatheatre

@elguidogarcia

@santuli23

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Ministry of Clown   Spanish

Theatre company name:   Ministry of Clown

Cast and technical team:

Performers/devisers (alphabetical order): Estrella Alonso, Lauren Bryant, Santi Guillamon, Ricardo Madrigal, Matthew Martin, Esther Stapleford, Fuen Vera

Tell us a bit about your theatre company:

Ministry of Clown was founded by Ricardo Madrigal and Lauren Bryant, both Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company graduates. Using games inspired by clowning, Ministry of Clown devises original pieces that are inspired by classical plays and yet relevant to modern-day audiences. We are fortunate to collaborate with other Fourth Monkey graduates from all backgrounds. In this specific production for FesTeLOff, most creatives are from Spain.

Synopsis of the play:

In this contemporary remake of Cervantes’ El Juez de los Divorcios, Divina Judge is a renowned therapist, specialised in interpersonal relationships, who has successfully adapted her clinics to the times of COVID-19. We will follow her hilariously struggle with her remote clinics as her rather eccentric patients force her to push her skills to the limit if she wants to keep her impressive rate of 100% salvaged relationships.

Social Media:

Ministry of Clown: Instagram @ministryofclown

Estrella Alonso: @etoilesinde (both Instagram and Twitter)

Lauren Bryant: @_lauren_bryant_ (Instagram)

Santi Guillamon: @santiguillamon (Twitter)

Ricardo Madrigal: @rimadrigal (both Instagram and Twitter)

Esther Stapleford: @esther_stapleford (Instagram)

Fuen Vera: @fuenbaynoba (Instagram); @FuenVera1 (Twitter)

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Meet our FesteLOff Jury Panel  HERE


2021 and upcoming events

APRIL 23rd
We will be launching FesTeLõn OFF, an opportunity for emerging theatre virtually. You will have the chance to watch FesTeLõn OFF at home and vote for your favourite performance.

MAY
Masterclass with critically acclaimed director Ignacio García

Earlier this year we were forced to postpone García’s masterclass on verse drama, “The Golden Age on Stage: the actor straddling reality and dreams”. This has been rescheduled for May 2021, stay tuned for more information.

JULY
FesTeLõn Kids, the Spanish theatre festival for the little ones

This year we will be hosting FesTeLõn Kids, a children’s theatre festival, over a weekend in July. We will be announcing the chosen Spanish performance soon.

AUTUMN
The 8th Edition of the Festival of Spanish Theatre in London

We will be welcoming you back to our beloved John Lyon’s Theatre in the heart of London this Autumn. We have a very exciting line up of classical and contemporary Spanish theatre that will spans over the two weeks. Stay tuned for details.