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Spanish Theatre Festival at Build

Story added 19th Apr 2017

Spanish Theatre Festival at Build

Several events for this year's will be coming to Build from 12-25 June. A number of top-ranking Spanish plays, previously unseen in the UK, will be performed in the John Lyon’s Theatre in Keeley Street as part of a wider celebration of Spanish culture. All performances are in Spanish with English subtitles so that the plays are accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

The Festival has become an annual summer fixture on London’s cultural calendar since it was first run in 2013. Alongside the performances, a number of talks, cast Q&As, workshops and school programmes will be taking place, with notable figures in the field of Spanish theatre and culture.

Programme for 2017

Four professional Spanish theatre companies will give sixteen performances of plays in Spanish, written by Spanish authors. There will be English surtitles:

- ROSAURA by Teatro Inverso (12-15 June)

- ENCERRONA by El Vodevil (Pepe Viyuela) (15-18 June)

- HIMMELWEG-CAMINO DEL CIELO by Atrium Produccions (19-21 June)

BIG BOY by Guantuguan Teatro (23rd-25th June)

Additional events

Talks: As in previous years, there will be several talks under the umbrella of the Festival. The talks will be led by members of the theatre companies taking part in the Festival and by leading figures in the field of Spanish theatre and culture (yet to be finalised).

Meet the cast: There will be one or two opportunities to meet the cast of each theatre company. These events will always take place after a performance and an interpreter will be provided.

Workshops: As in previous years, there will be one or two workshops led by one of the theatre companies.

Programme for schools: For the first time this year, there will be a series of educational and theatrical workshops for a group of up to twenty secondary school students. These will be held in the students’ schools and will be mainly in Spanish. At the end of the workshop, the students will give a performance which parents, teachers and one of the companies invited to the Festival will attend. The students will receive a diploma and free tickets to one of the plays.

Visit the for full details.

Spanish Theatre Festival: Talks & Workshops at Build

Details have now been announced for the talks and workshops taking place at Build this summer, as part of the .

All events will be taking place in the John Lyon’s Theatre on the ground floor of the college’s Keeley Street building.


Workshop: Classical Theatre from a Contemporary Perspective

Speakers: Teatro Inverso, Sandra Arpa and Paula Rodríguez

Wednesday 14th June, 15:00  to 17:00 (2 hours)

John Lyon´s Theatre

Paula Rodríguez and Sandra Arpa, from Teatro Inverso, analyse the principal underlying questions in the celebrated play La vida es sueño of Calderón de La Barca, one of the most significant authors of the Spanish Golden Age. Taking different fragments of the play as a starting point the actors will deepen in the understanding of the classical verse and its best kept secrets. With this objective in mind, they will work with the original Calderón’s text and its English translation, re-adapted specifically for the production "Rosaura". This English version seeks to be as faithful as possible to the form and spirit of the Calderonian universe. The aim of this workshop is to facilitate the understanding of the classical Spanish theatre plays and to discover how the universality of their contents are still relevant nowadays.

In Spanish with an English interpreter

Price: £10 / £5 Concessions


Talk: Humour as a tool for social intervention

Speakers: Pepe Viyuela, El Vodevil

Friday 16th June, 15:00 to 16:30 (approx. 90 minutes)

John Lyon´s Theatre

"Humour as a tool for social intervention": Pepe Viyuela will give a talk about his experience with Payasos sin Fronteras (Clowns without Borders), an NGO that he has been a part of for over twenty years and that he has travelled to places in conflict with (Kosovo, Iraq, Palestine), in order to make children who suffer from the horrors of war, laugh.

In Spanish with an English interpreter

Price: Free (RSVP)


Workshop: Bodily Poetics: Living Rhyme and Living in Rhyme

Speakers: Teatro Inverso/ Sandra Arpa and Paula Rodriguez

Saturday 17th June, 10:00 to 12:00 (2 hours)

John Lyon´s Theatre

Looking for new ways to approach the Classics of the Spanish Golden Age, Teatro Inverso carries out practical research with the aim of providing useful tools to the contemporary actor to work with the Classical verse. Paula Rodríguez and Sandra Arpa will talk about this in "Bodily Poetics: Living Rhyme and Living in Rhyme". In this training session the focus will be laid on the connection between the words and the body, through different techniques that find their roots in physical theatre, and helps the actor to delve into the classical texts to understand their form. In this process words are inhabited by bodily experience allowing the voice to reveal the emotions and thoughts hidden in every line, in an organic and personal way.

In Spanish with an English interpreter

Price: £10 /£5 Concessions

Book: /


Talk: Theatre as a poetic space for reality

Speakers: Raimon Molins, Atrium

Tuesday 20th June, 15:00  to 16:30 (approx. 90 minutes)

John Lyon´s Theatre

Raimon Molins, director of Atrium, will speak about conventions and the future of staging and contemporary dramaturgy, taking Juan Mayorga's Himmelweg as a point of departure.

In Spanish with an English interpreter

Price: Free (RSVP)



Talk: Translating Himmelweg and The Persistence of Memory

Speaker: Prof. David Johnston, Queen´s University Belfast

Tuesday 20th June, 16:00 to 17:30 (approx. 90 minutes)

John Lyon´s Theatre

Prof. David Johnston's talk reflects upon what it means to translate a play like Himmelweg, itself the vivid translation of a past we are in danger of forgetting. And yet the memories that recreate that past are irrevocably infused not only with the nightmare of survival, but also with the guilt of inaction. In that way it is a play about translation itself, about how and what we remember, about how we relate to and memorialise the past, as well as about theatre, about how and why we act out our allotted roles in the most brutal of circumstances, and how we name ourselves in the face of the unnameable. 

In English only.

Price: Free (RSVP)


Workshop: Embodying the character

Speakers: Mario Ruz Martínez & José Luis Montiel Chaves, Guantuguan

Saturday 24th June, 10:00 to 12:00 (approx. 2 hours)

John Lyon´s Theatre

Mario Ruz Martínez and José Luis Montiel Chaves, from Guantuguan Teatro, will talk about their experiences when working with characters on stage through movement. In this process, the body becomes the axis of theatrical communication. The actors will show the importance of the body as a creative tool for inhabiting different characters on stage.

In Spanish with an English interpreter

Price: £10 / £5  Concessions