Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden
A part of A Piece of the Continent Festival
(7pm on the 15th)
A young man sets out on a journey of self-acceptance, inspired by the remarkable story of drag artist La Gitana who escaped from Franco's dictatorship to perform her passion-filled Spanish folk music in America. She transformed and brought to life Copla songs beyond Spanish borders and yet struggled to merge her Spanish past with her American present.
Copla was an actual genre of music repressed by Franco’s dictatorship and ultimately lost into history... until you see this story unfold. La Gitana shares her subversive attempts to fit into a changing world through her Copla songs, as she expresses the longing, memories and sighs for her homeland.
With a storyteller, a violinist and a pianist, ‘The Copla Musical’ interweaves the stories of La Gitana and a gay researcher in contemporary England studying her historical imprint and becoming infatuated with her powerful Copla songs. The characters of this story live in-between cultural and sexual identities, belong to none and build bridges for survival. And through it all, they sing to us… their audience, exploring what it takes to come to terms with who you are born to be.
Copla songs played a key political role during the dictatorship of Franco in 20th Century Spain: they represented dissonant voices but were associated to the fascist regime. This show now recuperates the essence of Copla and gathers some of these songs into a musical designed to share the passion and subversion of Spanish Copla beyond Spanish borders.
Returning to London from an international tour spanning across Europe and South America, the show won the Musical Theatre Award of the Danail Chirspanski Festival 2017 in Bulgaria, and was finalist at CENIT in Seville 2017.
The show is written and performed by Spanish artist Alejandro Postigo, PhD in ‘Intercultural Adaptation of Copla’ and leader of HisPanic Breakdown, a young theatre company committed to develop and showcase original collaborations between English and Spanish artists: ‘the show speaks to my life journey from Spain to America and then Britain, fighting my exoticness, trying to blend in. But not being able to hide my identity, Copla slowly comes out revealing my In-between-ness’.
Glamorous, racy, fun and authentic; spend the evening with drag artist La Gitana, and be immersed in a passionate and political tale of identity and freedom. ‘The Copla Musical’ re-enacts a series of subversive, queer, and political Copla songs that are about to see light out of Spain.
Writer and performer - Alejandro Postigo
Director - Tian Glasgow
Piano - Kimon Pallikaropoulos
Violin - Violeta Valladares