April 21, 2023
The King’s Head Theatre
Crested Fools Theatre Company are delighted to bring a brand-new piece of Spanish-infused theatre to the King’s Head Theatre. Created in Edinburgh by a group of multicultural artists, The Rotting Hart combines traditional theatre, storytelling and choreography to create an unsettling exploration of homosexuality through the ages and the effects of toxic masculinity, ignorance and stoicism on queer bodies.
It is summer in the valleys of Toledo, c. XVII. HIM and his father live in isolation in the shadow of an abandoned Augustinian monastery. One day, a stranger comes into their lives: Diego, tall and proud and full to the brim. Diego talks to HIM like his father never does, he drags HIM out on adventures around the abandoned monastery, reads HIM poetry. HIM doesn’t know what any of it means. All he knows is that, since Diego arrived, something has started to change: feelings he doesn’t understand are bursting through his skin like black fur; words and language are starting to lose their meaning; and intrusive thoughts make him wonder whether Diego’s proud neck would fit between his growing canines…
The show is a co-production between Crested Fools, an Edinburgh-based theatre company who recently finished an Edinburgh Fringe run of their debut production Becquer’s Legends (“A polished, creepy storytelling experience”, **** The Wee Review), which sold out at the Edinburgh Horror Festival 2021; and Fronteiras Theatre Lab, an Edinburgh-based theatre company specialised in contemporary intercultural theatre (The Illusion of Truth, ***** The Edinburgh Reporter).
The production stars a small but experienced team of artists from the Scottish capital. Flavia D’Avila, director of The Illusion of Truth (as well as La Niña Barro, Green Knight, Placeholder, and The Devil in the Belfry), lends her excellent directing skills, whilst The Rotting Hart writer Daniel Orejon (The Things We Carry, Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival) plays HIM in what is his first solo performance. Joining them is Liz Marsh as technical manager, a skilled jack of all trades set on pushing the limits of what the venue’s equipment can do.
Speaking about the production, Orejon comments: “It is shocking to see how far back antigay legislation goes in Spain. To be able to hear these historical records dripping with such animosity towards our community… It really is the most resonant backdrop for this tale of ignorance and self-hate.“
D’Avila adds: “I grew up in an area very similar to the one depicted in the play: a rural, macho-filled universe in southern South America where toxic values abound. It feels particularly poignant and important to me to be working on this piece with Daniel at this point in time, with what is potentially the most complex presidential election in my birth country of Brazil happening in the background, as I see family and friends transformed into the same kind of wild beast as we see HIM in The Rotting Hart”.
The Rotting Hart will be performed at The King’s Head Theatre on the 21st and 23rd of April 2023.
Venue: King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper St, London N1 1QN
Tickets: £10 early booking / £15 standard ticket – BSS members receive 10% discount with the code GAYCARNAGE
Dates: Friday 21st + Sunday 23rd April
Time: 19:00 (21st), 20:00 (23rd)
Box office: kingsheadtheatre.com/whats-on/
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Dame Denise Holt
Dame Mary Marsh
Lady Mª Belén Parker
Mrs Mercedes Sutherland
Duke of Wellington
Sir Stephen Wright
Carmen & Scott Young