FesTeLõn, the festival that celebrates Spanish theatre in London is back for the 7th annual edition with a series of contemporary and Spanish Golden Age plays, lectures and workshops. For two weeks in October, from the 1st to 6th and 15th to 20th, the John Lyon Theatre will host a diversity of productions to submerge the audience in some of the most exciting modern and classic Spanish theatre. The premier night of each production will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience aimed at strengthening the cultural interchange and understanding between spectator and performer.
This year FesTeLõn launches its very own fringe festival, FesTeLõn-OFF. Emerging companies in the UK are invited to perform a Spanish play in a competition to be held in London next April. The winner will then perform at FesTeLõn 2020.
For the founder of the festival, Mariví Rodríguez Quiñones, the highlight of this year’s edition lies in ‘the powerful productions that give voice to women and the LGBT community to talk about power, love, violence, homophobia, struggles as relevant in their day as they are now’.
Starting with ‘La Calderona’, a black comedy musical that uses hip-hop, with a live DJ on stage, that tells the story of the most controversial of king Philip IV’s lovers. The play speaks of power, ambition, love and survival, relevant concepts in 17th century Spain that resonate very strongly with contemporary audiences.
The 2019 winning production of AlmagrOff, the fringe festival that runs alongside the prestigious International Festival of Classical Theatre in Almagro, will have its UK premier at FesTeLõn. ‘La Margarita del Tajo que dio nombre a Santarén’ is a riotous and tragicomic adaptation of a religious comedy about passion, adultery, sacrilege and femicide.
Lorca’s acclaimed play Yerma will open the second week of the festival. The portrayal of a woman’s desperate desire to become a mother reflects on the tragedy of unfulfilled expectations and the meaning of fertility in the modern day.
With only one actor on stage, Powdered Fists (Puños de Harina) presents two parallel stories of two gypsy boxers living at different moments in time but sharing similar experiences of violence, masculinity, racism and homophobia.
And last but not least, ‘Crickets and Fireflies’ (Grillos y Luciérnagas), a production about the lights and sounds of the night will instil the theatre bug in the younger audiences.