Selling out its original run at Southwark Playhouse for CASA Festival 2017, Stardust shines an unflinching light on Colombia’s heart of darkness. Mixing together new writing by Immersive Ensemble founder Daniel Dingsdale, physical theatre and hand drawn animation, Blackboard Theatre have a created an irreverent and impassioned investigation into the human cost that cocaine production and consumption has both in Latin America and further afield.
Provoked into action by the painful stigma left by the narco history of his country, Colombian artist and Blackboard founder, Miguel Hernando Torres Umba, unravels his own and the western world’s responsibility for a trade that kills thousands in his homeland. Bringing together contrasting stories from a range of Colombian voices Blackboard tells the story of the chain of lives and deaths that turns a coca leaf, sacred to indigenous communities in Latin America, into a line of coke on a mirror in the western world.
Established in 2015, Blackboard Theatre creates work that responds to current human, social and political issues, aiming to inspire audiences to take further action and provoke social change.
The company’s debut production ‘Pedro and the Capitan’ by Mario Benedetti, was first staged with great success at VAULT Festival 2016. The production ran in partnership with NGO REDRESS, and was supported by Arts Council England and the Uruguayan Embassy.
Blackboard’s Artistic Director Miguel Hernando Torres Umba, is a Colombian Director, Actor and Physical theatre performer. Trained in acting at the Superior Academy of Arts of Bogota, Colombia and specialised in Corporeal Mime at the International School of Corporeal Mime in London. Since 2008 he has collaborated with Secret Cinema as both actor and performance director. In 2016 he was appointed Associate Creative Director, and lead the production of Dirty Dancing, followed by the creative development of the blockbuster Moulin Rouge.
In April 2017 Miguel was appointed Associate Creative Director for Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation Mandinga Arts, and is leading the company’s new artistic ventures.
With Stardust Miguel aims to confront the social stigma left by the narco history of his country and to question his and the western world’s responsibility in a trade that kills thousands in Latin America.
Blackboard has particular interest in championing collaboration between British and Latin American artists with the aim to engage audiences from both backgrounds and bridge the cultural gap that exist between these communities in the UK.