Review: La Turista: Café Duende, Morito Tapas Bar

“I have seen the blood of Spain”

“Ni en la vida ni en la guerra se puede triunfar sin fe.” The 1937 words of the Spanish Republican Prime Minister Juan Negrín are draped across the window of Morito Tapas Bar to beckon us into the highly evocative world of La Turista:Café Duende, a piece of dinner theatre that seeks to give a taste not only of some excellent Iberian cuisine but also of life during the Spanish Civil War. The quote translates roughly as “not in life nor war can one succeed without faith” and through Jamie Harper’s intricately pieced-together script, we bear witness to the different kinds of faith that saw people through the most difficult of times.

Hobo Theatre’s aim is to produce theatre in unconventional locations and the crowded intimacy of one of Exmouth Market’s most highly rated eateries certainly fits that bill. The easy conviviality of the space, combined with the realities of informal dining, creates a decidedly non-theatrical environment, an astute choice which fits the suggestively dark moods of La Turista perfectly. Split into four acts, interspersed with three courses of dinner, the show is less concerned with a theatrical narrative than evoking the mysterious spirit of duende, of deep feeling, of an almost spiritual connection with art. Continue reading “Review: La Turista: Café Duende, Morito Tapas Bar”

Review: The Wolf, Network Theatre

“A small Balkan nation lost their independence for you”

There’s a real sense of being in a place one ought not to be with the Network Theatre. On a road which doesn’t appear on any maps and down a service tunnel alongside and under Waterloo station, the unassuming door leads into a converted arch which is the home for a company, Southern Railway Dramatic Society, who have been going since 1939. Other companies also put on shows there like the Sturdy Beggars who return here with this production of Ferenc Molnár’s The Wolf.

Molnár is a Hungarian writer – one of their most beloved apparently – whose influence has been felt in adaptations of his work from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel to Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing ¬ but The Wolf has not been performed in the UK since the early 70s. Exploring the delicate balance of keeping a marital relationship working in the face of insecurities and long-hidden dreams, its portrait of the compromises and conflicting priorities feel as apposite today as it must have done at the beginning of the twentieth century. Continue reading “Review: The Wolf, Network Theatre”