Sevilla, about 1155 miles from Turin

Arrival and the first meeting Finally we arrived in Seville to meet our partners of Atalaya TNT (Centre for Theatre Research, Spanish partner of Caravan project) with whom we have been in constant contact for a month. We gave them our bulky witness: the Caravan, for the second tour toward Denmark. It made a strange impression meeting them personally after so many phone calls and emails. They ran out to see our very special truck/stage, with enthusiasm and curiosity, but there was no time to waste, our next tour was far away and we had to get ready to work. The technician Alejandro offered to bring us to see the extraordinary location where the show would take place: the Barrio Vacie, a huge gypsy camp which has been collaborating with Atalaya for a long time. At the entrance of the TNT centre in fact,  stood a huge poster of a gypsy woman: it was Rocio, the matron  of the Barrio, who accepted to collaborate to a great stage production of Atalaya, La casa di Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba) of Garcia Lorca. Our friends partners of Seville have already been working together with Vacie citizens for a couple of years, with patience and constancy and they have already managed to involve them in projects with Casear Brie and l’Odin Theatre in as well as their projects. Thanks to them, we had the possibility to finish our theatrical journey with a unique experience: bringing the Caravan and the show inside the gypsy camp.  

The show  

El Vacie was in fact a really special place, a whole district, “un mundo en el mundo” as they say here in Seville. For them was “Un pueblo chabolista”,  for us was just a shantytown. So, how could we present precipito in this context? They told us that gypsies would not understand the concept of “fourth wall”, and they might interrupt the performance with comments and suggestions at anytime. We had to be ready for anything: to interrupt or change the scheduled programs or to proceed step by step. Obviously, we were a bit worried; when we went into the camp, men, but above all women and children looked at us and they smiled intrigued and amused. Obviously, there were not used to receiving guests, we were a novelty for them. We treasured the experience in Albacete where we met a community which was very close to this one of Vacie. Erika, “la chica embarazada” presented the most interesting and famous story, as her inflatable baby bump covered with glitters had a shattering and cross-cultural power, that caught all ages. The choice of our theatre proposal was up to her. And fortunately, this was great idea. The small benches covered by red velvet, filled the space in front of the Caravan. Women and children listened with interest and amazement, while men watched from a distance, with a cigarette on their month and a wry smile on their face. A strong and statuesque female figure watched solemnly with her muscular arms crossed across her chest. She was Rocio, the matron who collaborated with the TNT; if she accepted us, than the whole camp would. After the show, when children met the actors and jumped into the camper van, Rocio invited us to her home/shack for a fresh beer.We heaved a sigh of relief, everything went well and we would like to stay longer with all that children who were screaming “Yes you worth”.

What we bring with us (Federica, actress)  

Gypsy children of El Vacie district, make our weariness (after the tour of thirty days) lighter. The audience of the 17 may in Seville was wonderful, a very big surprise and it was a great pleasure be there with the Caravan. They told us that it was the first time that a real, small theatre entered inside the Barrio and this filled us with joy. It’s wonderful to be able to bring this theatre everywhere, inside a shantytown, with unpaved roads, tin roofs and barefoot children who run around. What I felt after getting into that community was a mixed of pleasure, curiosity and astonishment. How could we talk about working problems, rents and money in a shantytown, how could we bring our story and for what purpose? These were our doubts before the start. Fortunately it took just a few seconds to realize that we were in the right place with the right show. The children chorus that shouted in the end “otra vez…todo el día” erased all our uncertainty. We felt joy, beauty, strength, spontaneity and lack of judgment. The warmth, the cheerfulness and uniqueness of that audience will be unforgettable. Thank you Seville.

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