We were invited by Teatro Taller in Bogotá and the British Council to travel to Colombia to teach, direct and perform our shows, in 2002 & 2009. In 2015 we returned a third time.
La Jagua 2002
We travelled to a village called La Jagua, in the south. There we taught an established circus group of young adults theatre and circus techniques, and at the same time devised a show with them to be performed in the village, locally, and at other festivals in South America.
La Jagua was on the edge of FARC-held territory, a mile or so over a strategic bridge, but occupied for a couple of hours a day by government troops. It was the run-up to national elections; indeed the show we co-created with this group was staged on election day.
We had imagined the students would want to confront an issue like peace, or perhaps under-age pregnancy, but the issue most poignant for them turned out to be gossip… hence the show was entitled ‘ Telefono Roto’ – ‘Broken Telephone’, which translates as ‘Chinese Whisper’.
We returned to La Jagua a few years later and directed a second show with a mostly new group of young people from the village. The show was performed in the market town of Garzon, where it enthused some of the local children so much we ended up facilitating a theatre and acrobalance workshop for them.