The female-led 2019 line-up at the Cervantes Theatre, London’s home for Spanish and Latin American plays, continues this autumn with the second annual Contemporary Spanish Playwriting season, supported by Acción Cultural Española and Arts Council England.
It’s headlined by the UK premiere of The Eyes of the Night, which runs from 11 to 28 September 2019, with a press night on Friday 13 September, including a post-show Q&A chaired by MyTheatreMates founder Terri Paddock.
The two-hander, written by internationally renowned Spanish playwright Paloma Pedrero, translated by Catherine Boyle, receives a full production this year following a successful dramatised reading last year as part of the Cervantes’ inaugural Contemporary Spanish Playwriting Season.
The Eyes of the Night is a complex and beautiful play that reveals the deepest desires and fears of a middle-aged businesswoman who, with the help of a blind man, will need to experience the darkness in order to see the light.
Life is full of moments of change that can pop up at anytime. An unexpected encounter between a businesswoman, who supposedly has triumphed in life, and a blind man who she’s just met and asked to spend a few hours in a hotel with her can be the trigger for a new life. Both will have to be able to open up and let themselves experience the darkness in order to see the light…
The English cast are Lanna Joffrey and Samuel Brewer. The Spanish cast are Leyre Berrocal and Josema Gomez. Both are directed by Simone Coxall.
Paloma Pedrero (writer) has written over 30 plays and been translated into around twenty languages and is one of the most widely recognised living Spanish playwrights. She studied sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid and became part of the Cachivache company after the reinstatement of the Madrid theatre following the death of Franco. Her first play, La llamada de Lauren, where she also played Rosa’s character, opened in 1985. Since then she has never stopped writing or acting, both on stage and on television, and she also directs productions of her own works. Some of her most famous plays are: La llamada de Lauren (1984), Resguardo personal (1985), Besos de lobo (1986), El color de agosto (1987), Noches de amor efímero (1987), Una estrella (1990), Locas de amar (1994), En el túnel un pájaro (1997), Beso a beso (2005), Caídos del cielo (2008), Androide mío (2010).
Simone Coxall (director) works as a Director and Movement Specialist in the UK, USA and Australia. Her most recent work is with Encounter Theatre as an Associate Director on their production The Kids Are Alright (The Place and The Albany) and as a Director of Shackleton and His Stowaway (Cervantes Theatre) with Stolen Elephant Theatre. In 2017 she directed Orlando: The Queer Element with Clay and Diamonds, which toured National Trust properties in England. As an Associate Director at Fourth Monkey, she has directed The Tempest and Henry V among others. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of Central Saint Martin’s Stages programme directing Orpheus and Eurydice at The Granary Building Kings Cross. She also works as a Globe Practise practitioner at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Catherine Boyle (translator) is Professor of Latin American Studies and Head of Department at King’s College London. Her academic work has led to a number of translations and theatre work, including the RSC for their Spanish Golden Age Season, for which she acted as academic consultant and translator of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s Los empeños de una casa as House of Desires (2004). Catherine is Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded Out of the Wings and in 2009, along with Sue Dunderdale and Karen Morash, Catherine created the Head for Heights Theatre Company, dedicated to the performance of theatre from cultural extremes and marginality.
Lanna Joffrey (English cast) is an actor, spoken-word performer and writer. Select theatre credits: The Time of Our Lies (Park Theatre), They Promised Her the Moon (Old Globe), Troilus and Cressida and Timon of Athens (Willow Globe, The Factory), Muse of Fire and Sonnet Walks (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Thousand Splendid Suns (A.C.T, Old Globe & Seattle Rep), Cause (Vault Festival), The Profane (Playwrights Horizons), The Soulless Ones (Hammer House of Horror Live), I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre). Awards: NYFringe, IRNE and Ovation Award. Her critically acclaimed verbatim play of women’s war stories, Valiant has traveled the UK and the US —going to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Theatre503, JW3, Women and War Festival, WOW Folkestone Festival, NY Fringe and InterAct Theatre. Her spoken word and writing has been featured online and in print.
Samuel Brewer (English cast) is an actor and devisor currently in his final year at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, undertaking a BA (Hons) in Acting – Collaborative and Devised Theatre. He has performed and devised at the Adelaide Festival, in addition to a number of independent and commercial roles (such as the RNIB’s recent rebranding campaign) in Australia and the UK. At Central, he has received the Nellie Watson Scholarship and the Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust Bursary.
Leyre Berrocal (Spanish cast) is an actress with a long career in film, TV and theatre of more than 20 years. Leyre has worked with Frances McDormand and Javier Bardem in films such as El Santa Isabel (Dir: Paula Cons), Fuego (Dir: Luis Marias), El Primer Ultimo Día (Dir: Javier Arriaga y Guillermo Llaguno), Cámera Obscura (Dir: Maru Solores), Un Mundo Casi Perfecto (Dir: Esteban Ibarretxe), Agua con Sal (Dir: Pedro Pérez Rosado), Cuestión de Suerte (Dir: Rafael Monleón), Calor…y Celos (Dir: Javier Rebollo), Extasis (Dir: Mariano Barroso) or Pasiones Rotas (Dir: Nick Hamm). Leyre has also worked in some of the most prominent TV series of Spain like La que se avecina, Centro Médico, El Precio de La Libertad, Un Chupete para Ella or Más que Amigos. Some of the plays she has worked on are Plano Secuencia and Vidas Pasadas by Ángel Mirou, La Boda de Betty Blue by David Barbero, Huésped by Iván Repila, Autobús a Ninguna Parte by Javi Arriaga
Josema Gómez (Spanish cast) has been part of Orozú Teatro for more than 12 years. Orozú Teatro is a theatre company integrated by blind and visually impaired actors supported by ONCE and recipient of many awards. Josema has toured all over Spain and has worked recently at Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival with Don Volpone an adaptation of Volpone by Ben Jonson. He has also worked on the following plays with Orozú Teatro: La Ciudad de los Errores, Duo Padrone, Sombras de Amor Prohibido, Bang El Vodevil, En Black, Así es la Vida and Lo Oscuro. Josema has also participated in the MAX awards in Spain and he is now developing a new and ambitious play that will open at the end of the year.
About the Cervantes Theatre
The Cervantes Theatre opened its doors in November 2016 and is London’s first venue dedicated to showcasing Spanish and Latin American plays, performed both in Spanish and in English. From modern classics to contemporary masterpieces, the Cervantes offers the opportunity to experience the most authentic and groundbreaking Spanish-speaking culture in an intimate venue in the heart of London. Through its bilingual programming, the Cervantes encourages Spanish/Latin American/British cultural exchange. It is becoming a reference point in London for Spanish-speaking culture and heritage.
The Eyes of the Night (Los ojos de la noche) runs from 11 to 28 September 2019 at the Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR, with 7.30pm performances, in Spanish on Wednesdays and Thursdays, in English on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets priced £15-£25. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!