Papaya Fest, an exciting new multi-arts festival hosting an array of trailblazing Anglo-Latinx artists is set to be a crowd-pleaser in Bristol this weekend (10th – 13th October). With a diverse mix of theatre and music, it will be taking place at the Wardrobe Theatre & the Old Market Assembly. Bristolatino’s editor-in-chief Isaac Norris gives the low-down!
Popelei, an arts organisation based in Bristol, are the brains behind the festival, paving the way for more representation of the Latin American community in England. For Tamsin, the artistic director, theatre is a way to construct a new sense of self in a world that is always imposing identities onto the female body. The name of the festival, Papaya, is a play on the vulva, acting as a political statement to reclaim their autonomous selves.
“We want Papaya Fest to be a celebration of unity – an example of all the wonderful things that happen when two cultures, inspired by one another, come together.”
(Tamsin Hurtado Clarke, Artistic Director of Popelei)
Kicking off the festival this year is the much-anticipated new show, 100 years, a creative take on Marquez’s timeless novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, brimming with brilliant humor and some insights into motherhood. Another one to watch is Butch Princesa, an award-winning brazen piece about an immigrant coming out in a Latinx family, fusing music and dance in an unforgettable performance. Unfamiliar looks into similar themes of queer identity with two men thinking about having a family together.
Now on to music, The Fontanas are headlining on Saturday, expect upbeat funky grooves, guaranteed to get everyone boogying all night long! They have toured extensively, including Glastonbury and Barbican Festival, always brightening up everyone’s day with their infectious, feel-good tunes. Keep an eye out for Wara, a three-piece female group sure to take you on a musical journey through a vibrant variety of music styles, with backgrounds in Cuba, Venezuela, Chile and the Congo. Their memorable music draws heavily from their Afro-Caribbean culture, creating unique songs packed with emotions. The Mexican DJ and audovisual artist, Panther Panther!, will also be blessing our ears with his unique fusion of digital cumbia, a real music genius.
At a time when theatre in the UK seems increasingly London-centric, it is refreshing to see am emerging creative scene take shape in Bristol. This festival is not one to be missed, get down and support it! Combining Latin American and British theatre and music, this really will be an otherworldly experience.
Photo Credits: Papaya Fest