The Young Vic will bring a taste of Brazil to Waterloo on 16 August with its Brazilian-themed community show Festa!, which kicks off the Young Vic’s Amazonia season.
Festa! is inspired by Brazil’s Festa Junina, an annual festival in which Brazilians come together to celebrate traditional love stories through drama, dance and music.
The Young Vic’s version brings together Brazilian performers and over 90 community members from Lambeth and Southwark to tell a story of a wedding, played out against a backdrop of Brazilian Quadrilha dance, live music and song.
Performed twice during the day, at 17:00 and 19:30, the show will begin outside the theatre on The Cut, before bursting onto the main stage of the Young Vic. To accompany the alfresco activity, traditional Brazilian food and drink will be served by The Cut bar.
Festa! is the culmination of an intensive three-week period of performance workshops led by Brazilian artists from London and Rio de Janeiro. It is directed by Cyda Morenyx of Spectaculu, a theatre arts school in Rio for disadvantaged young people from local communities, and co-produced with People’s Palace Projects, an organisation which aims to harness the power of art to progress social justice by staging performances and large-scale projects.
The August spectacular is just one element of the Young Vic’s foray into Brazilian culture, which continues with Christmas show Amazonia (27 November to 24 January). A departure from traditional seasonal fare, Amazonia is a comedy about an enchanted tree in a rainforest which transforms those who pass beneath its branches. A cast of English and Brazilian actors is led by Brazilian comic actor Pedro Cardoso, who also co-wrote the show.
The Young Vic has a tradition of working with international companies. Last Christmas the theatre welcomed South African theatre company Isango/Portobello with its productions of A Christmas Carol and The Magic Flute, the latter going on to enjoy a West End transfer and win a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival earlier this year.