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

SPREADING A TASTE FOR STREET ARTS

Hortzmuga Teatroa has recently had an opportunity to pass on some of what we’ve learnt over our 26 years in Street Arts. For the last term, we’ve been training a group of students from the Barakaldo Theatre’s stage school, the BAI. Our objective was not only to transmit know-how to these young people just starting out in the world of acting, but also to get their mouths watering for a taste of Street Theatre.

It has been a revolutionary experience for both Hortzmuga and the students themselves. They discovered what urban space is, investigating the possibilities it has to offer and surprising themselves with the strength generated when artistic expression takes to the street. The students experimented with street audiences, captivating passers-by and learning to draw on and play on their curiosity about what they were up to.

Most of all, and what we are proudest about as teachers of this trade, they discovered that urban space belongs to them and their audiences, despite ever more restrictions on its use, and that there are many stories to be told on there.

Our next project is to create a piece for this year’s ACT festival, held every June in Bilbao and Barakaldo. We’re really looking forward to it! Many thanks to BAI for giving us this chance to spread a taste for Street Arts.

 

Bizkaiko Antzerki Ikastegia / Centro de formación escénica

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