LONDON’S first dedicated Spanish theatre has opened on the banks of the Thames, within declaiming distance of The Globe, The Vic and Union theatres.
The new Cervantes Theatre, based at Old Union Arches in Southwark, proves that all the world’s a stage, just as Shakespeare wrote.
The long-cherished dream of acclaimed Spanish actor turned theatre director Jorge de Juan, he hopes it will open the eyes of English audiences to the delights of Latin drama.
The €250,000, 90-seater venue has been part financed by Spanish literary foundation SGAE and Network Rail.
Their money helped purchase authentic Spanish furnishings, which have been used to deck out its interior.
The achievement follows Juan’s establishment of The Spanish Theatre Company in 2013, London’s first theatre company entirely dedicated to promoting Spanish and Latin American arts.
“We didn’t have official help from the ministry of culture,” said Juan.
“At various times we were at the point of throwing in the towel.
“But I was committed to making it this year for the 400th anniversary of Cervantes and Shakespeare and here we are.”
Cervantes Theatre’s opening was marked by a two-date production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding.
It was performed once each in English and Spanish by 34 talented Spanish and Hispanic actors, who may have thought they would never find a home on the Thames.
Juan, who studied at the British Theatre Association before making a name for himself, said: “It has revealed to me the lack of knowledge of our theatre but the growing interest there is in it.”
Work is already underway for next year’s productions, which will include Pedro Calderón’s Life is a Dream and Micaela Flores Amaya’s La Chunga.