As part of her ongoing post-show Q&A series, on Tuesday 8 May 2018, Mates co-founder Terri Paddock will talk to Spanish playwright Guillem Clua – as well as director and stars – about the English-language premiere of his play THE SWALLOW, inspired the 2016 terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando. Got any questions?
I adored the heart-stoppingly moving two-hander THE SWALLOW when it had its English-language world premiere last year. I’m thrilled that it’s returning for a strictly limited season and that I’ll have the opportunity to chair my first post-show Q&A at the Cervantes Theatre with its Spanish author Guillem Clua and the team behind it.
THE SWALLOW is inspired by the 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were murdered at a gay nightclub. It premiered in September 2017 at the Cervantes Theatre, the home of Spanish drama in London.
Ramón comes to Amelia’s house to ask for singing lessons – in preparation, he says, to perform a special song at his mother’s funeral. During the evening, among breathing exercises and confessions, they come to realise that they have another loved one in common, Amelia’s son Dani, and how his loss in a terrorist attack simultaneously separates and unites them.
Both the Orlando attack and other recent terrorist attacks in London and throughout Europe strongly resonate in the play, making the personal and the political unfold hand-in-hand. THE SWALLOW (La Golondrina) is translated by Tim Gutteridge and directed by Paula Paz, associate director of the Cervantes Theatre. It stars David Luque alongside, at English performances, Jeryl Burgess, and at Spanish performances, Amparo Climent.
Guillem Clua is a playwright, screenwriter and theatre director who graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, spending a year at the London Guildhall University. Critics have described his work as multi-disciplinary and eclectic. His work has been shown internationally, having been translated into English, German and French. He has received various awards such as the 2011 Butaca Award, the 2013 Time Out Award, and the 2017 Max Award. His other plays seen in London include Skin in Flames (La Piel en Llamas) at the Park Theatre in 2015.
On THE SWALLOW, Guillem Clua says:
“What makes us human? For Amelia, a deeply wounded mother, what makes us humans is the capacity to feel others’ pain as your own. When an indiscriminate attack happens, we are all victims who have to deal with the same crossroads: hate or love. Our world depends on the direction we decide to take.”