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HisPanic Breakdown


The Copla Cabaret

13 Feb 2024



Union Theatre

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The Copla Cabaret

‘The Copla Cabaret’ is a dynamic and provocative show exploring the passion and subversion of Spanish Copla in English. Experience a night of queer history, comedy, music and drag. Copla is a genre of music that was once repressed under Franco's dictatorship in Spain, but in 21st century England, Dr Copla is bringing it back to life with a fresh twist that will have you laughing, singing along and tapping your feet.
Copla songs channel the queer and migrant experiences in Spain’s early musicals. Copla served as political tool against repression - first under dictatorship, and later for Spanish LGBTQ communities. Through audience participation the show addresses themes like the translation of musicals, living away from one’s homeland, queer reinterpretation of songs and the negotiation of multiple identities.
In this solo performance, Dr Copla Alejandro Postigo de-constructs the traditional Spanish songs and shares their historical significance for queer collectives, inviting the audience to be part of the dialogue. Through his interpretation of these songs and his sharing of his life stories, you'll witness his rebirth as alter ego La Gitana, all with a drink in hand and lots of interaction.

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Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Union Theatre

Union Theatre

Union Theatre


Access features:

Step-free Access

Age guidance:


Running time:

60 minutes

Festival strand:

Theatre & Performance

Funny, Thought Provoking, Empowering, Offbeat, Interactive, Poignant, Feel Good, For a Big Night Out!, LGBTQ+


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HisPanic Breakdown

HisPanic Breakdown is a theatre collective that focuses on original collaborations between English and Spanish artists. Our aim is to voice the experience of migrant queer artists that are ‘othered’ but aim to transform the theatre landscape by contributing access to their otherwise remote cultural referents. Past projects of the company include ‘Men on the Verge of a HisPanic Breakdown’ (2009-10), ‘Wondering Thoughts’ (2014) and 'Miss Brexit' (2022-23). We have asserted to translate and promote Spanish ‘Copla’, a Spanish music theatre form, to Anglo-speaking audiences. The company’s previous show The Copla Musical (2014-22) was widely seen in Europe and America and the recipient of International Awards, including Best Musical Production at ISTFDC, Bulgaria:

The company is led by Alejandro Postigo, gay Spanish migrant theatre-maker based in London since 2009. Alejandro has completed a PhD in the Intercultural Adaptation of Copla, which thoroughly explored access to the form by international recipients. In London, he has worked as an actor in West End productions such as ‘In the Heights’ (Kings Cross Theatre), ‘Flahooley’ (Sadler’s Wells), ‘The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake’ (Royal Opera House) and TV sitcom ‘Episodes’ (BBC), among others. He has assisted in West End projects ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (Piccadilly Theatre), choreographed musical ‘Nutcracker’ (Pleasance Theatre) and opera ‘The Merry Widow’ (Wilton’s Music Hall), and regularly collaborates with the Royal Ballet since 2012.

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“Full of glow and enthusiasm, a passionate pledge for copla as a subversive, meaningful genre full of nuances and with a complex history”. (North West End Review, London 2023)

Praise for previous work:
"The star of the show is the Copla music itself with live piano and violin accompanying feet-tapping melody belted out in Spanish and English. The enduring appeal of the songs mirrors the healing power harnessed from resurrecting forgotten voices". (Stagey Lady, The Copla Musical, 2019).
"Glamorous, racy, fun and authentic: a passionate and political tale of identity and freedom". (Theatre Weekly, The Copla Musical 2019)


Author/Performer: Alejandro Postigo
Director: Sergio Maggiolo
Media Design: Ricardo Ferreira
Piano: Jack Elsdon
Violin: Violeta Valladares

A Pinch of VAULT is a festival of brand new and work-in-progress performance. Shows will be at varying stages of development, including rehearsed readings with script in hand, first time on its feet or semi-staged.


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