Barrio returns: November 3rd!
Barrio is an itinerant Latinx variety night directed by Mary Ann Vargas, which first took place on the 3rd March 2019 at Southwark Playhouse. The night consists of song, dance, art, spoken word and comedy. The first Barrio was a collaboration between Southwark Playhouse and Language Acts and Worldmaking, celebrating the community in Elephant & Castle.
The idea to create Barrio came about as a response to an invitation by Southwark Playhouse to do a workshop involving the community at the Elephant. Barrio was also the name of a song Mary Ann had written some time ago, inspired in one of the traders at the Elephant. After many conversations with the theatre and potential collaborators, the workshop grew into an event in the shape of a variety night, first scheduled to take place on December 2nd 2018. By then, Mary Ann had already began interviewing a small group of traders and had invited them and a handful artists to write, draw or record their stories and impressions about the places they inhabited or worked in across a variety of disciplines.
On 10 December 2018, the Mayor of London approved the shopping centre’s demolition, causing great concern and uncertainty amongst the community. By then, Barrio had already been rescheduled for the 3 March, but the news prompted Mary Ann to question the nature and purpose of the event altogether. Was this the right time to celebrate anything, and if so, why, how, and most importantly: who for?
Photos and video courtesy of Marian Medic
Music in video courtesy of René Alvarez's Quartet