A very warm welcome to the first season of FesTeLOFF. The idea behind this project is to give a voice to emerging theatre companies working in the United Kingdom and also to create a reliable and visible platform for them. I would like to thank all the companies that sent us their proposal and encourage you all to push forward with your projects. I would particularly like to thank the five companies chosen. With their steadfast enthusiasm, motivation, courage and tenacity, they have recorded their theatre proposals during lockdown and despite the anxiety caused by the pandemic at every level, but particularly on a human level. So, THANK YOU for your humanity in the midst of such dehumanizing times and in face of the fear of Covid. Your determination to continue being creative in such troublesome times means that you are all winners in our eyes. THANK YOU.
I must also say thank you to our fantastic Jury: Mary Parker, Juan Carlos Rubio, Ascen Lópen, Pepe Viyuela, Natalia Calderón, Ignacio García, Paula Rodríguez and María Estévez-Serrano who all accepted our invitation to sit on the Jury for FesTeLOFF’s first season, freely giving us their time, advice and friendship. THANK YOU.
Thanks also go to my brilliant FesTeLOFF team: Mercedes Lavin, Aish Kasmani, Josu Jiménez, Kathryn Phillips-Miles, Simon Deefholts, Samy Ismaiel and Antonio Trenado. Without your help, it would have been extremely difficult to produce this season. THANK YOU.
As for the audience, my dear audience, thank you for always being there and giving us your support, whether that’s to FesTeLõn or FesTeLOFF. I would like to encourage you to vote for your favourite play because you’re a part of the Jury too. All you have to do is go to our website: www.festivalspanishtheatre.co.uk and click on the links to the videos for each theatre company on our YouTube channel where you will also find a synopsis (when the play is in Spanish) and a link to vote and leave your comments. THANK YOU.
Please look after yourselves and let’s hope we can see each other soon at the John Lyon’s Theatre.
Long live the theatre!!
Founder and Artistic Director
(in English, 13+) 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.
The Divorce Court Judge
1st edition FesTeLOff’s
Paula Rodríguez – Spanish actress based in London (1st edition FesTeLOff’s Jury)
Paula is a Spanish actress based in London. She is also a translator, writer, director and producer working in collaboration with other artists and creating her own artistic projects. She trained at The Royal School of Drama in Madrid (RESAD) and worked for Spain’s National Classical Company (CNTC).
In 2013 Paula completed the MA Classical Acting at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Since then she has been part of several theatre projects and collaborated with companies such as The Spanish Company at Cervantes Theatre and Flute Theatre; premiering Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “A Midsummer Night Dream” at Chichester Festival 2019. In the UK she has also collaborated with other organisations such as Dash Arts, The Young Vic, The Vaults Festival, FesteLon Spanish Theatre Fest. and CASA Festival.
In Spain, she has also worked with other companies such as Delabarca, a theatre company specialising in Calderón de la Barca’s works directed by Nuria Alkorta, Metatarso directed by Dario Facal and Cuarta Pared. Paula has participated in TV series such as “Cuéntame cómo pasó”, and “Nada que celebrar”. More recently she appeared as Dorothy in “El Mago de Oz” at Conde Duque directed by Juan Ayala y Annie Pui Lin Lok and the short films: The Belt, The Stonger and La Masa. She has won 2020 best documentary actress on International screen awards for The Stronger.
She is the co-founder and artistic director of Teatro Inverso, revisiting Spanish classics for international audiences; their two shows “ROSAURA” and “WONDERS” have toured internationally since 2015. In 2017 together with a group of foreign artists she created “The Other Solos, Shakespeare”, a series of YouTube monologues reflecting on Shakespeare and migrants. Paula is currently developing a new project “AURIC (songs from a golden age)” mixing Spanish Golden Age poetry and experimental music.
María Estévez-Serrano – Spanish award-winning actor and writer (1st edition FesTeLOff’s Jury)
María is an award-winning actor and writer who has trained as an actor and dancer both in Spain and the UK. She also
holds a degree in Philosophy from the UAM University.
Besides her brief appearances on TV (Guerilla, Sky Atlantic; Locked Up Abroad, National Geographic) she has enjoyed
a long career on stage. Her tribute to Federico García Lorca, “Verde, Agua y Luna” has been twice awarded with the
prizes for Best Theater Production and the Runner-Up for Best Performance by the Latin UK Awards (LUKAS).
FesteLOff Jury Panel
Some other recent and outstanding credits include: “Zombie Carmen” (dir. Evi Stamatiou), “The Bathhouse” (dir. Luis Gayol), “A bunch of Spanish Flowers” (dir. Daniel Kelly and Luis Gayol), and “The Sound of Yellow” (dir. Mathew Xia). On the big screen we have seen her recently in the feature film "Hurricane " (aka Mission of Honor) by BAFTA and EMMY Award-Winning director David Blair. Maria collaborates with the Young Vic´s“Two Boroughs” project, the political theatre project “The Boiler Suits” and the Festival of Spanish Theatre in London (FeSTeLón).