Search
Get a personalised letter from Santa

CASA Festival director Daniel Goldman brings Thebes Land back to the Arcola

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 September 2017

Thebes Land at the Arcola. Picture: Alex Brenner

Thebes Land at the Arcola. Picture: Alex Brenner

(c) Alex Brenner

The festival celebrates Latin American theatre in the UK and will take place at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston from September 6 to October 7.

Director Daniel GoldmanDirector Daniel Goldman

2001 is the year that changed it all for Daniel Goldman, artistic director of CASA Festival.

The event, which has celebrated Latin American theatre in the UK since 2007 will take place at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston and Southwark Playhouse from September 3.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Goldberg went to Argentina and was stricken by the local social theatre. Those writing and acting could not be any more different from the glossy London’s West End.

“I lived in Argentina for the three years during the economic crisis,” he explains. “I witnessed how theatre was responding to what was going on in the country in an incredibly moving way.”

That theatre was raw, socially engaged and aimed at involving the audience on a deeper level. It urged them to take action. That same urgency lies beneath the core idea of CASA Festival.

“I started the festival with my colleagues. We looked around: there was Latin American music, cinema, art in London, but no Latin American theatre whatsoever. It’s hard and expensive to bring theatre over from there,” Goldman says.

Ten years on, the festival is more ambitious than ever before, going from a ten day event to a full eight-week festival.

“We’ve brought a huge number of companies and shows from across the continent here to the UK. We’re also more engaged with the Latin American communities in London. We’ve found our place.”

When asked why the festival still feels relevant, he has no doubts.

“Audiences keep coming and telling us that our work matters, our shows have won awards. We’re the only art organisation that regularly creates a bridge for that work to come over here.”

Building bridges, not walls, is crucial in time of Brexit. This might be the reason why British theatre “has become much more politically engaged now than it was fifteen years ago”.

“Brexit was a decision to remove ourselves from a particular union, it was an isolationist petition. Yet I haven’t met a theatre artist who is pro-Brexit,” he adds.

“In a post-Brexit Britain, we need to hear different voices. We need to be in touch with those different experiences, those that we could learn and be enriched from. That’s the reason we still do this festival.”

A lesson British theatre could learn from its Latin American counterpart is rethinking things which are taken for granted to go straight to the core of the questions.

“Latin American theatre is politically charged in a way we don’t always go towards in British theatre,” says Goldman.

“We have a show opening the festival which is called Otelo. It’s a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello with a life-sized mannequin. The play starts in Act IV to concentrate on Othello killing Desdemona because in Latin American there’s a huge problem with femicide.”

Another work Goldman is proud to have brought across the pond is Thebes Land, which will be at the Arcola Theatre from the September 6 until the October 7.

“I first saw the original version of Thebes Land four years ago in Colombia. I was researching plays to bring over for the festival in the UK and it blew my mind,” he says.

“It’s a piece about people and situations. It’s brilliant and has a sense of the great Latin American writers, like Borges and Bolaño. At the same time, it’s a thriller, like Inception or The Usual Suspects.”

The play, directed by Goldman, debuted at the Arcola last December, and re-imagines the story of Oedipus to tell an unexpected story of redemption.

“We’ve always tried to have a presence across London as an itinerary festival,” he says. “We had the opportunity to come back to the Arcola. It’s a beautiful space, it’s exciting to be in such an East London jewel.”

Thebes Land runs at the Arcola from September 6 to October 7.

www.arcolatheatre.com

Latest Hackney Stories

15:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh says he is very happy at the Brisbane Road club – despite being linked with the AFC Wimbledon managerial role.

13:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh admits it was a hard-fought game but praises his side for coming from behind to beat Bromley 3-1 and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches.

12:14

London Lions moved into the semi-finals of the BBL Cup with their second win over Worcester Wolves at the weekend.

12:04

Clapton boss Jonny Fowell says he always expected a tough challenge as his side fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat against in-form Saffron Walden Town.

10:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

In Michelle Fredua-Mensah’s Haggerston home sits a large silver trophy and a giant, sparkling tiara.

16:04

A young entrepreneur from Homerton has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his work improving opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.

10:33

A 20-year-old killed himself after his family had urged professionals to take action over his mental health, and neighbours had raised concerns with Hackney Council, an inquest heard on Friday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists