Ignacio Garcia – Director of ´Arizona´ – FeSTeLõn 2016
FesTeLôn is an important project for the presence of Spanish theatre in London, with a clear commitment to showcase the best of our dramatic talent on the London theatre scene.
On With a keen interest both in contemporary works and modern productions of the classics, without a doubt FesTeLôn will enjoy a long and prolific future, packed with successes and excellent theatre.
FesTeLôn es un proyecto relevante para la presencia del teatro español en Londres, y es una apuesta decidida por mostrar lo mejor de nuestro talento escénico en el panorama teatral londinense. Con un pie en los textos contemporáneos y una mirada hacia las lecturas contemporáneas de os Clásicos, sin duda FesTeLôn tiene una larga y prolífica vida por delante llena de éxitos y de buen teatro
LA Machina Teatro – ´Grillos y Luciérnagas´ – FeSTeLõn 2019
It’s always like this in the world of theatre: charging around from one place to another, strutting your stuff. Living out of a suitcase, setting up the stage and pulling it down, running to the van because it’s raining or jumping out to stretch your legs after too many hours on the road . . .
And always with the same belief, the same care and attention.
But it’s true that there are times, there are moments that are more special than others, like the day we received an invitation to participate in FesTeLõn –Spanish Theatre Festival London. Our show, Grillos y Luciérnagas (Crickets and Fireflies), has travelled far and wide, perhaps because it was born in Spain to an Italian mother, and because the night is universal and things that happen in the night happen everywhere in the world and consequently are of interest to everyone.
But to go to London, to the West End, where the crickets haven’t been heard for such a long time and the light of the fireflies is eclipsed by the neon lights of the box-office musicals. How scary is that! To go there!! To think that one of the most important capitals in the world, with such a rich cultural offering, should want to see and hear the lights and sounds of the night again is no small thing. So we rolled up our sleeves, gargled a lot for the crickets and recharged our batteries for the fireflies. Everything had to be just so when got there.
What with the nerves, fatigue from the journey and the pressure of being in a big city, the crickets began to worry that they’d lose their voice and the firefles that their light would become very dim. We were not too sure how to calm them down. We started off by telling them how well prepared they were, that they were going to perform really well, they were going to be as brilliant as ever, but nothing we said or did had any effect. We began to be gripped by panic, until the festival team arrived, headed up by their director, Marivi.
They picked up our little friends and, just like their Italian mamma used to do, they hugged them and looked after them. They gave them all sorts of support and comfort and treats. So much so that when it was time to leave one or two of the crickets didn’t want to go back and are still there with them.
To work so far away from home is often hard, but when you arrive at your destination and you find people who are passionate about what they do it’s a real pleasure.
This Festival, which is so well directed, is a precious showcase for Spanish artists. To present our work, in our own language, in the centre of London, is a dream come true for La Machina Teatro courtesy of FesTeLõn.
Since then our Crickets and Fireflies have become a little bit Anglo-Saxon; since then our family has become a little more international; since then we have carried on, onwards and upwards! See you soon.
LA MACHINA TEATRO
El mundo del teatro siempre es así: Ir de un lugar a otro mostrando tu trabajo.
Maleta para arriba y para abajo, escenografía que se monta y desmonta, correr a la furgoneta porque llueve o salir de ella a toda prisa para poder estirar las piernas después de muchas horas en la carretera…
Y siempre con la misma ilusión. Con el mismo cariño.
Pero es verdad que hay veces, hay momentos, más especiales que otros, como en este caso el día que nos llamaron para participar en el FesTeLõn – Spanish Theatre Festival London.
Nuestra obra “Grillos y Luciérnagas” es una de las más viajeras, igual porque se concibió en España con una mami italiana y siempre supo que serían inquietos y viajeros ya que la noche y lo que ocurre en ella sucede en todas las partes del mundo y por lo tanto, interesa a tod@s.
Ir a Londres, al centro de Londres, dónde hace mucho tiempo que los grillos ya no cantan y las luces de las luciérnagas son eclipsadas por los grandes carteles de famosos musicales. Qué nervios!!
Ir allí!!! Que una de las capitales más importantes del mundo y con una inmensa opción cultural quiera volver a ver y sentir las luces y sonidos de la noche no es cualquier cosa así que nos pusimos manos a la obra, gárgaras para los grillos, bien de energía para las luciérnagas,… tenía que estar todo impecable cuando llegáramos allí.
Con los nervios, el cansancio del viaje y la presión de estar en una gran ciudad, los grillos empezaron a tener miedo de quedarse afónicos y las luciérnagas de que su luz se volviera muy tenue y oscura. No sabíamos muy bien cómo tranquilizarles. Les empezamos a hablar de lo preparados que estaban, de que lo iban a hacer muy bien, que iban a estar tan fantásticos como siempre, pero nada de lo que les decíamos o hacíamos surtía efecto. El caos empezaba a apoderarse de nosotros hasta que llegaron los miembros del festival con su directora al frente, Marivi.
Cogieron a nuestros amiguitos, y como lo hacía su mami italiana, les arrullaron y cuidaron. Les dieron todo tipo de atenciones, mimos y confort. Tanto es así que a la vuelta algún que otro grillo no quiso volver y allí sigue con ellos.
Irte lejos de tu casa a trabajar, muchas veces es duro, pero cuando llegas al destino y te encuentras a gente apasionada con lo que hace es un placer.
Este Festival, muy bien capitaneado, es una ventana preciosa para los artistas españoles. Mostrar nuestro trabajo, en nuestra propia lengua, en el centro de Londres, es un sueño que La Machina Teatro ha podido cumplir de la mano de FesTeLõn.
Desde entonces nuestros Grillos y Luciérnagas son un poco anglosajones… desde entonces nuestra familia se ha hecho un poco más internacional… desde entonces seguimos de la mano… See you soon
LA MACHINA TEATRO
La Calderona Producciones and Pau Pau Producciones – ´La Calderona´ – FeSTeLõn 2019
Participating in FesTeLõn – Festival of Spanish Theatre, London – was a great opportunity for our company. Being part of this festival, which is so necessary for theatre in the Spanish language, is an experience that we value on every level.
On a professional level, it has offered us an opportunity to present our work, La Calderona, in London, one of the leading centres of theatre in the world, performing at City Lit for two consecutive nights, with a large audience attracted by the prospect of seeing drama being performed in Spanish. In addition, there were question and answer sessions with the audience after each performance, creating an opportunity to share impressions and receive feedback and comments about the play. For us, this opportunity has provided an absolutely essential showcase to continue to strengthen our project on an international level and confidence that there is an audience for drama performed in Spanish and that it’s worthy of being presented on platforms such as this.
On a personal level, we felt completely at home. FesTeLõn has a team with enormous spirit, impeccable organization, excellent coordination, and a personal interaction beyond compare, transmitting a positive and enthusiastic energy.
We would like to place on record here our total support for this initiative, for Mariví and all her team, who showered us with help and turned our stay into a marvellous experience, which we shall always treasure dearly.
Natalia Calderón (La Calderona Producciones)
Actress and Producer.
David Ottone (Yllana)
Director and Stage Designer
El Aedo Teatro – ´Puños de harina´ – FeSTeLõn 2019
To premier “Puños de Harina” at the Festival of Spanish Theatre of London (FesTeLõn) has been an experience for me and our company El Aedo Teatro. We knew the festival first-hand because last year we were lucky enough to participate with “La vida es sueño: el bululú”, and we were mistaken in thinking that this time was going to be the same.
This year we have been lucky enough to premiere a play of our own creation in a theatre in the capital, London, an event of incalculable value for a company like ours. “Puños de Harina” tells difficult stories of wanting to be heard and FesTeLõn has been a megaphone for our voice and our work. Our participation in FesTeLõn has meant that our play has been showcased internationally and we have received offers from other countries so we can continue telling our stories. This is a path that never would have been possible without the support of FesTeLõn.
FesTeLõn is a festival that is self-managed, which means that every day is a mystery and every edition is a surprise. We have met a group of volunteers, led by Mariví RQ, who are completely dedicated to the festival, participating backstage, in production, translation, information and, of course, as audience members of the shows at FesTeLõn. Without all of them, our dream would never have become a reality. Thank you for believing in our work. Thank you for being our megaphone. Thank you for being our support in London. Thank you for the friendly look and pat on the back that is sometimes so needed. Thank you for the hugs and the vivid experience we have taken from this. We already want to return.
El Aedo Teatro
Periferia Teatro – ´Guyi Guyi´ – FeSTeLõn 2018
It’s been a real pleasure being involved in the sixth season of this wonderful Festival.
This year, the Festival launched a children’s theatre programme, FeSTelón Kids, and Periferia Teatro was asked to open it. We were delighted by the experience, as was the audience.
The Festival is an opportunity for Spanish theatre companies to showcase our work to a UK audience. The organisers are true lovers of the theatre and have put their hearts and souls into creating this opportunity. What struck us most about our experience was the warmth and friendliness of the people involved with the Festival, not to mention their attention to detail. We really appreciated having this opportunity and would like to congratulate the organisers, specially Mariví.
Spanish institutions clearly need to provide financial support to ensure that Spanish culture can be more widely appreciated beyond Spain. However great the organisers’ hopes and dreams are, they can never be a substitute for institutional support. Projects such as this deserve to keep on growing.
Long live FeSTeLón!
Susan Hernández y Ascen López – ´Me siento pulga´ – FeSTeLõn 2018
We were very lucky to be able to take part in Festelon’s 2018 season and it really was an unforgettable experience. It’s inspiring to work together with such dedicated people as Mariví and her team who love the theatre so much.
They put a phenomenal effort into everything they do. It all worked like clockwork from the moment they picked us up at the airport to the time they dropped us off again. They were all very kind and showed great respect for our work. It all went wonderfully well.
The theatre itself was cosy and comfortable, with all the technical equipment and the staff needed to ensure that the show would be flawless: lights, sound, surtitles – it all worked brilliantly. The best thing of all (and this is where Festelon, Mariví and her team have really triumphed) is the audience. The audience has been growing year after year and it’s fantastic. The audience is used to seeing good theatre and enjoys it – a receptive and appreciative audience. It’s wonderful.
I can only say, thank you, thank you and thank you once again to everyone!
Long live Festelon!!!
JÓVENES CLÁSICOS – “A Secret Vengeance for a Secret Affront” – FeSTeLõn 2018
Eternal and effusive thanks to the FESTELON team and especially to its founder, Mariví. Her confidence and interest in our show “A Secret Vengeance for a Secret Affront” has been the most wonderful gift we could have wished for, a dream come true and a recurring delight. FESTELON’s work is both heroic and laudable and we send our best wishes for next season.
Teatro Inverso – “Rosaura” – FeSTeLõn 2017
For Teatro Inverso, performing our show Rosaura in London has been a fantastic way to promote our work and enable it to reach an international audience, and to enable us to establish connections with other people working on other projects who we can collaborate with, build bridges or simply exchange ideas and feelings.
We also received very good press reviews and opportunities to work with other institutions as a result of our invitation to Festelón. […] For all these reasons and many more we thank you sincerely for inviting us to participate in this heroic fifth season of Festelón, and we would like to come back very soon in order to carry on sharing and exchanging and having fun together.
Natalia Menéndez – Director, Festival of Almagro, Participated in Conference and Speaker for the Inaugural Lecture – FeSTeLõn 2017
“I had a very pleasant experience, and not only because of the exceptional treatment I received, but also being able to see the wonderful reception theatre in Spanish has in the UK.
FeSTeLõn is the result of tireless work and an enormous personal effort, but also the joining of forces with institutions…Therefore, it seemed to me that your participation as a member of the jury in the 7th International Almagro Off Competition, held this year in the 40th edition of the Almagro Festival, was a good way to create a fruitful relationship between the two festivals, already established in London and Almagro.
I sincerely wish that the path which you initiated five years ago continues to contribute successfully to promulgating Spanish national theatrical production in the United Kingdom. I also hope that the collaboration initiated between the two festivals will have a very beneficial future trajectory. “
Link to her conference here.
Pepe Viyuela – Actor, Performed at FeSTeLõn 2017
“Through my involvement in this year’s FeSTeLõn, I learned that enthusiasm and will power can be capable of absolutely heroic achievements, and even more so when they are accompanied by talent.
I know that I will never forget this experience and I can clearly state that I have been converted into a fervent admirer and advocate of this festival. Since then, I have spoken about FeSTeLõn with the greatest enthusiasm to every actor I have come across and I have recommended that they find out about it and get involved in it.
I would like to congratulate Mariví Rodríguez Quiñones, the Festival Director, as well as her sizeable team of organizers, firstly for their efficiency and professionalism but above all because of the selfless nature of their work. The fact that they are all volunteers makes this Festival even more valuable, if that is possible, since their only motivation is to bring theatre “made in Spain” to London, the capital of theatre par excellence. FeSTeLõn welcomes proposals and voices which would otherwise never reach London. It also promotes cultural exchange and coexistence and, consequently, the opportunity to share knowledge and experience. Who knows whether one day the bridge which FeSTeLõn currently represents might not become a permanent channel for cooperation between Spanish and British theatre companies?
I would like to single out Mariví for particular praise. Through her own enthusiasm, she has managed to produce these first few seasons of the festival with barely any help from public funds, financing it herself and with the help of a small team of contributors, among whom I shall also include myself, starting with next year’s season.
My greatest wish for FeSTeLõn is that it may enjoy a long life. I sincerely hope that those who are in a position to support initiatives such as this will also step up and make a contribution towards its consolidation and development.
May the curtain never fall on FeSTeLõn!”
Link to his play here.
Juan Carlos Rubio – Actor, Director and Writer – FeSTeLõn 2015 and 2016
Taking part in the Festival of Spanish Theatre of London (twice with ‘Heridas del Viento’ and ‘Arizona’) was a fabulous experience. It was an opportunity to present our work to the English public, and proved that theatre knows no borders, only emotions.
Thank you to the Festival, run by the talented Mariví, for having us. I hope I’ll be able to come back in the future, and be a part of something that keeps on growing year on year and something that is already an international benchmark.
Jair Souza-Ferreira – Producer of La Piedra Oscura – FeSTeLõn 2015
Jair Souza-Ferreira, Producer of La Piedra Oscura.
One of the dreams we have had whilst working in theatre is to work in a great theatrical city, such as London. Thanks to Mariví Rodríguez and the Festival of Spanish Theatre in London, we achieved this dream. The festival is now going into its sixth year and I hope it continues for many more. My time with FesTeLõn was a great experience, both professionally and personally. A festival that I hope to return to one day.
Manuel Calzada – Author ´El Diccionario de María Moliner´ – FeSTeLõn 2013
Mariví Rodríguez Quiñones got in touch with me at the beginning of 2013 to offer my theatre company a gig. It wasn’t just any old gig. What she was offering us was nothing less than the foremost theatre scene in the world: London. Her idea, which we hadn’t previously heard about, was to set up a Festival of Spanish Theatre in the UK’s capital city, since she was convinced that there were many good plays in Spain which were worthy of being staged there. Our piece, El diccionario (The Dictionary), would serve as a pathfinder, in a first and by no means definite season of the festival, which might also have been the last.
There was as much enthusiasm in that offer as inexperience in the art of theatrical management, but we accepted the challenge. The venue, a university theatre with a decent capacity, was located at London Bridge, an area full of life close to Shakespeare’s temple, the Globe Theatre. The structure of the Festival was still in its early stages and was somewhat precarious. They were still designing their logo as we negotiated with a local firm to hire some spotlights and as the Festival established contact with institutions and sponsors, who for this first season were few and far between (this being the time when the Spanish Embassy was the talking point among the diplomatic community in Belgravia, after hoisting the largest flag of any of the other embassies and perhaps the largest in the whole of London). We trudged round the city to arrange (and pay for) publicity, hand out leaflets and rummage around the store-rooms of the National Theatre, hunting for the scenery and props we needed for our production, which we’d been unable to bring over from Madrid because of the prohibitive transport costs. To sum it all up: it was a crazy proposition and we ended up being grateful for whatever we could scrounge after a huge amount of effort and wearing out several pairs of shoes tramping the streets of the capital. In return we chalked up a number of unique experiences to fuel some good dinner party anecdotes, as well as the enormous satisfaction derived from a job well done.
The curtain was raised. To our surprise, people came to the theatre. And the troupe, comprising Vicky Peña, Helio Pedregal y Lander Iglesias, portrayed the ups and downs of María Moliner and her determination to write a dictionary. The magic worked. And, having taken the opportunity to go and see other plays during my previous visits to London, I proudly realised that our actors were just as impressive as stars such as Helen Mirren, who at that time was reigning supreme on the billboards for her performance in the play “The Audience”. And also that my play could stand up to many of its peers in London. This is something I am enormously proud of. That day, all these (mainly Spanish) institutions who had been somewhat stinting in their support as if we were dubious upstarts and whose crumbs we had accepted stoically, presented us as if we were the real McCoy and spoke about this project, driven by Mariví Rodríguez Quiñones, not as a one-off event but as a sine qua non.
I still believe it is. In spite of Brexit, or even more so because of it. Our cultures, our countries, are closely linked; as with all families, there is the occasional misunderstanding and friction. That’s why we need rites of encounter and reconciliation, rites of discovery, and culture is one of those rites. You’ve heard it from the mouth of a humble man of the theatre whose only ambition is to produce the best work that he can.
Finally, I would like to say a few words in recognition of the Festival director. I’m still amazed at Mariví’s tenacity. Through a great deal of personal effort she has created an enduring struture which should be cherished by Spain’s cultural instititutions. I don’t know what challenges the Festival currently faces, but I’m convinced that they will be met with the competence engendered by experience and without the slightest faltering of her enthusiasm and the faith she has in her vision. For me, she is the embodiment of a very Anglo-Saxon concept which I say over and over to myself during the course of the year: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Long Live the Festival!