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Southwark Playhouse - Tanzi Libre cancelled

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE remaining performances of Tanzi Libre have been cancelled after its leading actress, Olivia Onyehara, sustained an injury during the play’s opening week.

Previously Posted: Southwark Playhouse has announced the first two productions in its new home at 77 – 85 Newington Causeway.

The first production in the 240-seat main space, The Large, will be an updated version of Claire Luckham’s play Trafford Tanzi, re-titled Tanzi Libre. Directed by former Artistic Director Ellie Jones, it will run from May 15 to June 22, 2013.

In a South London wrestling ring, Tanzi and her love interest, Dean Rebel, have more than just their titles to fight for when they’re pitted against each other for the ‘fight of the decade’.

Following Tanzi’s life from the moment she was born until she falls in love, discovers the realities of the wrestling world and invents her signature move, the deadly Venus Flytrap, Tanzi Libre is described as a touching and thrilling story that takes place within a full-size professional wrestling ring complete with live DJ and an all-singing, all-wrestling cast.

The title of the play changes depending on where it is performed. This production is called Tanzi Libre because it will incorporate the popular Mexican Lucha libre style of wrestling.

Southwark Playhouse’s revival marks the play’s first major London production in over 30 years. The original production, Trafford Tanzi, premiered at Manchester’s Contact Theatre in 1980 before playing at the Edinburgh Festival and touring. At London’s Mermaid Theatre, Toyah Wilcox took on the title role and later, on Broadway as Tuebrook Tanzi: The Venus Fly Trap, Debbie Harry starred alongside Andy Kaufman as the Referee.

Casting and further creative details have yet to be announced.

The 120-seat studio, The Little, will open with the winner of a Fringe First Award at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, Juana in a Million, which runs from May 22 to June 15, 2013.

Juana in a Million is billed as a powerful, new, one-woman show exploring true stories of immigrants to the UK. Mexican author-performer Vicky Araico Casas brings vividly to life her colourful cast of characters, lending stunning immediacy to her own immigrant experience and that of many others.

Directed and co-written by Nir Paldi of multi-award-winning Theatre Ad Infinitum, and informed by new social research, Juana in a Million weaves a moving tale of survival, betrayal and hope.