HóPe @ The Lantern Theatre (Brighton Fringe Festival 2023) Review

Policarpa Salavarrieta or La Pola (1795 -1817) was a Colombian seamstress who was ultimately assassinated in 1817 by Spanish Royalists. An integral figure within the struggle for independence from the Spanish, her political ambition would see her spy for the Revolutionary Forces and play her part in securing Colombia’s future. Her fiery legacy living on centuries later through ‘The Day of the Colombian Woman’. Inspired by her unwavering bravery and loyalty, writer and performer Giullianna Martínez presents HóPe, a one woman show also inspired by Martínez’s mother’s battle with Multiple Myeloma.

Staged simultaneously in the now, London and 1800s Colombia – we to and fro between Zoom calls had by Giulliana with her mother and at one point with a doctor and La Pola’s chaotic fight for independence, the prescient issue of that time – colonisation, dictating how the native population lived. Giulliana’s concern for her mother heart breaking, her strength when embodying La Pola magnetic. We here presented with two bold women confronted by life altering circumstances who both face their fears head on. The show connecting ancestral ties, the past to the present day, and channelling the resilience needed to confront life’s obstacles.

Martínez’s turn as she justles between the two characters, energetic – there’s an urgency with both women that has you gripped. I can see this being a longer show, this is a piece with a lot of potential that feeds well into wider conversations had about culture, heritage, colonisation and the role of women throughout history.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

HóPe is currently showing until Saturday 3rd June 2023 at The Lantern Theatre as part of this year’s Brighton Fringe Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop