Review: The Hundred We Are, Yard Theatre

“Forget how to sit, that’s all we have to do”

I was introduced to Hobo Theatre earlier this year with their production of Hunger set in a bakery but The Hundred We Are sees them occupy a more traditional theatre space at the Yard in Hackney Wick. This award-winning play by Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri, translated here by Frank Perry, is a bit of a challenge though as three women sift through their memories and experiences, asking questions about the many different lives that we can and do live, and also pondering those that we do not choose.

For the trio, named enigmatically 1, 2 and 3, are all at different stages in the life of a woman and discuss, debate, disagree and engage in dialogue with each other, restating and rebuilding the personal history that makes them who they are, or even who she is. As fragments of the same person, Ida Bonnast’s fresh and fiery young’un, Katherine Manner’s brittle, dissatisfied middle-aged misery, and Karen Archer’s pragmatic voice of experience tussle and tug against each other, only slowly realising how much they need each other. Continue reading “Review: The Hundred We Are, Yard Theatre”

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”