PUBLISHED: 12:32 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 July 2010

In Blood: The Bacchae

In Blood: The Bacchae


A GRIM winter lies ahead with the country mired in recession and nothing to look forward to except Celebrity Big Brother. What better time for Dalston s Arcola Theatre to host a Brazilian season...

A GRIM winter lies ahead with the country mired in recession and nothing to look forward to except Celebrity Big Brother.

What better time for Dalston's Arcola Theatre to host a Brazilian season, a country of vibrant music, colourful dance and more than enough rum to drown those credit-crunch sorrows.

The centrepiece is In Blood: The Bacchae, Britain's first professional capoeria production.

Capoeria, for those living outside Stoke Newington, is a traditional Brazilian dance form/martial art, which has become fashionable in the way that salsa took on a few years back.

The play tells the story of Besouro, a young descendant of African slaves, whose skill at capoeira was legendary.

He was even said to have supernatural powers, including the ability to turn himself into a black beetle, or become invisible.

Police chief Gordilho is obsessed with Besouro and eventually catches him.

However, the capoeirista persuades the police chief to swap places with him for one night to experience the magical power of capoeira. Transformed from man to myth, Besouro came to symbolise a beacon of possibility for those living on the edge.

A vibrant mixture of Brazilian drums and beats accompanies the acrobatic cast, including Mestre Alexandre Carlao, an acknowledged capoeira master.

The programme of events over the next few weeks includes performances of Hotel Medea - From Midnight Till Dawn and The Last Days of Gilda, plus play readings, live music, workshops and discussions.

For those with the Brazilian energy to party all night, Hotel Medea sounds quite something.

Described as a play in which the barrier between the actors and audience is broken down, Hotel Medea is a six-hour performance taking place from midnight until dawn.

Performances of In Blood start at 8pm at the theatre in Arcola Street and continue until January 31.

Tickets and more information about the Brazilian season can be found by visiting the website, or by phoning the box office on 020 7503 1646.

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