Author: Alx Phillips

Grec Festival 2016 – A Brief Introduction

De Stille Kracht, Toneelgroup Amsterdam. photo: Jan Versweyveld

If you’re passing the Palau de la Virreina on the Rambles or staring up at any of the lampposts around Barcelona, you’ll see some rather optically-challenging ads for a summer event called the Grec, an annual performing arts festival of some 141 acts, plus discussions and other activities that go on through July. Its name derives from the expansive amphitheatre a bit up… Read more »

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The Reign in Spain – An Unofficial History

A satirical theatre production at Madrid’s Teatro del Barrio (6th April – 22nd June 2016) interrogates the role and reputation of the King of Spain as the country’s head of state and its military. The monarch in play is the now 78-year-old Juan Carlos I, who first set foot in Spain at the age of 10,… Read more »

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Feeding the World – New Images of Africa

Tahir Karmali, Dennis Muraguri, Tonney Mugo: Jua Kali City.

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, an exhibition currently at Barcelona’s CCCB, is the vibrant, visual manifestation of an extensive, on-going research project that brings together the work of 120 artists and designers from all over the continent. Curated by Amelie Klein of the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the show was put together under… Read more »

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B for Bárcenas – Spanish Scandal on Screen

B., la pelicula is directed by David Ilundain and based on the stage play Ruz/Barcenas by Jordi Casanovas. It stars Pedro Casablanc as Bárcenas and Manolo Solo as Ruz.

The extraordinary court encounter between the Spanish judge Pablo Ruz and the Partido Popular politician Luis Bárcenas Gutiérrez has been made into an award-winning, triple Goya-nominated film directed by David Ilundáin. In 2013, Bárcenas, of the right-wing ‘People’s Party’, was brought before judge Ruz for a second time and admitted to running a slush fund for nearly two decades while holding the… Read more »

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Igor and Moreno – The Dynamics of Domesticity

Igor and Moreno - A Room For All Our Tomorrows

A Room For All Our Tomorrows – a new dance piece by Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas – is a witty, hyper-caffeinated exploration of one-on-one relationships! Set to be performed at DanceEast in Ipswich this Friday April 15th, the piece is a welcome follow up to the Basque – Sardinian duo’s acclaimed debut, Idiot-Syncrasy (2013), that was… Read more »

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Invernadero – Pinter’s blend of slapstick and horror

Invernadero (The Hothouse) by Harold Pinter, directed by Mario Gas. Translated by Eduardo Mendoza. Photo: Ros Ribas.

Mario Gas, one of Spain’s best-known directors and Eduardo Mendoza, one of the country’s best-known authors, bring their brains together for this pop-up theatre production of Harold Pinter’s lesser-known black comedy The Hothouse (Invernadero), at Barcelona’s Teatre Lliure until February 21st, 2016.  This comic, tragic, macabre play is set in a government-approved institution where countless ‘residents’ are numbered rather… Read more »

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Una Giornata Particolare – Life, Death and the Rumba

Clara Segura and Pablo Derqui in Una Giornata Particolare directed by Oriol Broggi. Photo: David Ruano

The Italian director Ettore Scola died last month. Probably the most internationally famous of his films was Una Giornata Particolare (A Special Day), a domestic love story starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, set on the occasion of Adolf Hitler’s visit to Benito Mussolini’s Rome in 1938. The film was released in 1977, and won a Golden Globe and was nominated… Read more »

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Kokoro – An Intervention of Nature

Lali Ayguadé Kokoro

Lali Ayguadé, the acclaimed Barcelona-born dancer-turned-choreographer, brings her first full-length dance production Kokoro to Leicester’s Curve Theatre this Tuesday, January 26th. The piece offers a variation on a theme explored by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Fractus: how, in a world divided into societies built for individuals, can we confront the pressing need to adapt, to… Read more »

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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: “Breaking ourselves is the only way to grow”

Fractus V Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui photo: Filip Van Roe

Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui talks about Fractus V, a contemporary dance piece currently on European tour, that explores the complexities of communicating in a world divided by prejudice and swamped in misinformation. Inspired by the ways of thinking of Noam Chomsky, afflicted by the recent violence in Paris and Brussels, the 75-minute piece brings five dancers of radically… Read more »

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What’s on? Juicio a una Zorra – A Cry for Justice

Juicio a una zorra, directed by Miguel del Arco, photo © Sergio Parra

A middle-aged, peroxide blonde Helen of Troy staggers into a neon-lit bar and pours herself a drink. So begins the Spanish-language play Juicio a una Zorra, a powerful and passionate monologue delivered by acclaimed actress Carmen Machi (Hable con Ella, Abrazos Rotos), on at Teatre Goya (Barcelona) from 19th – 31st January 2016. Director Miguel Del Arco wrote the piece to give… Read more »

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