FAREWELL 2016 / GREETINGS 2017

Streets turn us on. They lure us, they feed us, they drug us. We were born in the streets and after every performance we die a little in the streets too.

2016 was a year of many opportunities, including travelling to Slovenia; taking part in Donostia 2016 (in the Zubideak programme) and in Festival del Sur of Agüimes; performing our Tómbola 0.0 (0 attacks. 0 inequality) in the fiestas of different neighbourhoods around Bilbao; covering kilometres to visit and revisit squares in towns old and new; joining The Hosts and the theatrical journeys of @Begotxudelbotxo and her friend Mirentxu down the estuary of Bilbao as part of the Basque Fest; participating once again in Fitur; appearing in the Txikigune with our big red bus, Bilbobusa Gorri, and her driver Alonso in Bilbao’s Aste Nagusia; sitting on professional round tables in national and international festivals and fairs; escorting the Olentzero and his retinue along the streets of Bilbao, Abusu and San Inazio, among others. Lots of opportunities and a lot of luck, or rather, lots of hard work; because behind every performance there is a lot of work, a lot of people, a lot of everything…

2017 has begun and this new year looks to be brimming with new opportunities for our theatre company. New challenges to tackle with even more energy – if such a thing is possible – like taking our very own senile revolution around as many towns, cities and capitals as possible, in the guise of FEMMES, those sweet, and not-so-sweet old ladies with their battering ram of protests and their weapons of mass hysterics as they reduce their audiences to helpless laughter.

We’ll also be laughing and playing with JULE, our new family street-theatre show which we are weaving together, with great care, with Rosa Díaz, La Rous. JULE talks about imagination and dreams of adventure, about the importance of relationships between different generations in a family, or the lack of them.And we’ll be going back to performing at night, with our new adult show which, this year, is a co-production with the Arriaga Theatre.

But we’ll carry on working on lots of other theatre projects here and there – projects which are our life blood but also sap our strength. Ah well, a sweet death, indeed.

So here’s to a year-ful of theatre for each and every one of us!

FEMMES

We live therefore ours is a live show.

Last Friday, as part of Arrigorriaga’s International Clown Festival, we launched our latest street theatre spectacle: FEMMES.

This time we wanted to leave to one side the technical gadgetry and metal structures which have accompanied so many of our productions. Freed from musical packaging or sound effects, freed from interminable hours mounting and dismounting, freed from loading the van to bursting point. Just four people, four elderly women using the street as their backdrop, as the script for a game whose goal is to spark friendships with the audience – something we’ve always been good at – and to criticise, with irony and good humour, our surroundings and our society; to laugh at ourselves and to laugh at human nature.

We’ve returned to the streets and to our origins with a show that is so live it’s in a continual state of change, where the action depends on what happens as it happens. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a living being which has just hatched and will need time to find its feet – and that’s what we’re helping it do right now. We’ll visit squares, towns and cities, we might take planes to faraway lands where people speak in strange tongues, we’ll suffer naughty children who will eat their sandwiches sitting in our laps and want to join in, to be there and see what’s going on. The show will be different every time – a true Work in Progress.

We’re alive, by the skin of our teeth, because our profession in street theatre is becoming ever more diluted by other street artists, laughable budgets which can sustain only the lowest of low-cost shows, little set-up and few people, something for everyone …on a shoestring. We’re alive and we want to laugh at life, at the economic crisis and at the whole world of financial, political and moral scandals.

We’re alive and we want to step into the shoes of our mothers and our grandmothers and all those women who make the most of the lives they have but still have a lot to say…feeling time breathing down their necks, time they don’t have much left of. We’re alive and this has only just begun.

#guerrillafemmes

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