Theatrical war drums in Bogotá

April 2008 -

During the eleventh edition of the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogotá, devils literally roamed the streets of the Colombian capitol. The actors of the Dominican Republic's Los Diablos Cojuelos (the Limping Devils) introduced this Caribbean carnival Lucifer variation to the general public in the weeks from 7 to 23 March 2008. With 650 performances by 1200 artists from 45 countries, it is one of the world's largest festivals.


La Patriótico Interesante

Latin American theatre was well represented during the festival. The ten members of Teatro de Los Andes from Bolivia, for example, brought its Otra Vez Marcelo to the festival from its theatrical laboratory in a deserted farm near Sucre. The play tells the story of the author and leftist militant Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, in keeping with the tradition of politically-tinted theatre. The Bolivian author was cruelly murdered during the García Meza dictatorship.

Peru sent its most successful theatrical production of the past year to the festival: La Celebración. This large-scale production boasting the cream of the crop of Peru's theatrical world is a sound but somewhat conventional adaptation of the 1998 Danish film Festen.

The street theatre of La Patriótico Interesante from Chile took more risk with El Jabalí, a popular version of Richard III that was relatively intimate with the political developments in the region. "We arrived in an excited country in the middle of an international conflict situation", says Ignacio Achurra, the director who is also one of the company's actors. "Every television and every street corner showcased the events in the political soap: economic interests, private agendas and the egos of presidents who sent in troops and pounded their fists. In the meantime, we were getting ready to put on our own show of troops and weapons" But these theatrical war drums were met with massive applause from more than 15,000 people who attended the thirteen performances in thirteen different parts of the city of Bogotá.