Visite Argentina: Play review

Alex Brenner ©

If you have never been to Argentina, you may dream about the steak that bleeds in the barbecue or the winning moves of Maradona during the golden times of Argentinean football, delicious wine and famous empanadas… Now put together all your fantasies in the mouth, chew it until you can spit and then aim to the national flag.

This is how Jorge Costa and Julia have been translating the Argentinean stereotypes into the play Visite Argentina – Come visit Argentina) for the last seven years, over the world.

The play is introduced by a home-made video showing a parody of a slothful ambassador behind a ludicrous moustache who sells the country with the irrefutable offer of buy one and get all the rest for free.

The couple comes into the scene beautifully wrapped as waiters. This time it is the lady who caries a finger-thin chopstick-long and wonky moustache and eyes wide hungry. Slapping metal trays on each other’s face, playing ‘mickey’, creating bruises for the next week and posing ‘look good’, they quickly melt the ice of the audience.

Gauchos, how the Argentinean cowboys are known, have their precious folklore, with several rhythms of traditional music and dance, the sacred chimarrão – that bitter and over hot tea sipped through a metal straw, the expertise on mounting and the manhood that comes with the machete.

Alex Brenner ©

Jorge and Julia can’t help by putting and pulling extremes in this super physical piece, where flying jumps meet torturing birds – its all about how hard can the gaucho be and how airy and dumb can the China (how they call their ladies) be and how much we can all mock about it.

And when people say that it takes two to tango, there it took four. It also took a miming of a ‘Maradona’, macho turned gay obsessive, pairing an inflamed lady on red heels and leg warmers. Not sure if it was the long combing from hairy belly to the sweaty hair, or the bum squishing fringe swinging by the end, but with the right dose of improvisation, the clown couple reacted and surprised the audience, keeping endless laughing whilst giggling amongst themselves.

And that ambassador, that keeps returning between the sketches, with his overly uncanny secretary on the background, is inspired by a certain generation of sales man politicians that in the 90’s that sold more than they should. The poke and tease of our Argentinean fantasies is a finger through the bubble of their identity with a satire of the Latin passion.

Jorge Costa will also perform with a solo-centric play, 100% improvised, coming up on the following weekend at Casa Theatre Festival. After watching Jorge wiggle, pose, jump and twist, all at once and still shock and tremble until he winks, Mi.me is not to be missed.

Alex Brenner ©

During the nine days of the festival on its 8th year, the strong programme present the work of theatre companies from Chile, Colombia, Equador, Argentina and UK, with eleven plays, aside of a range of events for all ages and taste.
There is theatre, music, cabaret, talks, workshops, community events and typical food.

Every independent initiative for a cultural niche encounters challenges to establish itself in such a competitive artistic scene of London. Casa Theatre is consolidating its presence, building within the Latin American community and lovers in London.

Know more: http://www.casafestival.org.uk/

Written by: Alicia Bastos

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