Rating: 5 words & more – Unique, eclectic, passionate y muy impresionante.

From Shakespeare adaptations to flies on the wall, this year’s CASA Latin American Theatre Festival is as eclectic and unique as ever – And that’s one of my favourite things about it.

I’ve been accompanying CASA’s journey for quite some time now, from its beginnings in the pits of St George’s crypt, to the Oval House, the Barbican, Rich Mix until it finally landed at the Southwark Playhouse this year for its 10th anniversary. Wherever it took place, artistic director Daniel Goldman and his team always brought plays and stories that would not otherwise be known to a British audience, and it is often a revelation to see work in the UK which clearly plays by—and gleefully breaks—a different set of theatrical rules.

This year I’ve seen a range of theatre performances from international companies and UK based Latin American artists. While some of the work presented is stronger than others, what comes across is the sheer creativity, inventiveness, and experimentation of the artists and companies. Some play with senses and emotions in quite an unusual way, making Latin American Theatre a thing not only to be seen but also heard, felt and tasted.

The best plays I’ve seen in London were brought by CASA: Parlamento! Parlamento! by Tryo Teatro Banda from Chile and Instrucciones para Abrazar el Aire by Argentinian-Ecuadorian exile Aristides Vargas. This year the festival didn’t fail to add one more show to my top ten: “Mendoza”, a bloody passionate re-imagining of Macbeth set in the Mexican revolution.  Probably one of the best takes on Shakespeare I’ve seen, with performances from the guts and impressive, clever direction by Juan Carillo.  These days in the UK, it isn’t really hip to play as if your life depends on it, but that is exactly what Los Colochos do in this 5-star production.

The festival and “Mendoza” close this Saturday, I urge you to see one of the final performances, simply because you won’t experience anything like it.

@ Southwark Playhouse

Fri 27 & Sat 28 – 8pm

Link to tickets HERE

by Nina Barthes; (C) Pro Theatre 

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