Picasso’s Obscure Play Desire Caught by the Tail Gets London Run

The Nunnery Gallery will host LUXE’s production of Picasso’s rarely produced play Desire Caught by the Tail in two exclusive outdoor performances to mark the end of their summer event programme.

A play rarely produced worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to see a different side of the infamous artist’s imagination. Award-winning company LUXE will present Picasso’s highly stylised and surrealist piece of theatre – directed by founder and Bow Arts artist Cradeaux Alexander, recently praised for his “extraordinary” direction by Indie London – bringing to life the play’s intriguing and humorous characters, including The Tart, The Onion, Big Foot, Thin Anxiety and Silence.

Written in 1941 in occupied Paris, Picasso’s piece reflects the devastation of its time with equal parts of angst and humour. Outrageous and funny, the absurdity of annihilation is constantly felt by its characters, a frustration that will be poignantly familiar to the audiences of 2016.

Desire Caught by the Tail had its first public reading in 1944 and featured performances by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Leiris and Raymond Queneau. It was most recently performed at the Guggenheim, New York in 2012, who previously hosted the play in 1984 when the players included Louise Bourgeois and David Hockney.

Picasso’s play Desire Caught by the Tail, 1944, will be performed in Bow Arts’ courtyard, surrounded by their Victorian warehouse studios, and closes the Nunnery Gallery’s summer programme, which has been running alongside the 2016 Bow Open Show, curated by Anj Smith.

“A rare opportunity to further our understanding of a brilliant mind through performance rather than paint, I am incredibly excited to host this production which has been said to encapsulate a moment in a very desperate time. Inviting Cradeaux Alexander to Bow Arts to produce this play is a fitting end to a summer programme that looked to celebrate the unique innovation and creativity of our artists.”

Sophie Hill, Gallery Director

Founded by Artistic Director Cradeaux Alexander, LUXE is an award-winning company dedicated to experimenting with form and theatrical language. LUXE’s performances explore the space between theatre, visual art and performance. Their work has enticed its audience to discuss their productions “in more detail and at greater length than any other play we’ve seen recently” (Peter Brown, Scene4 Magazine).

The play runs in the Bow Arts courtyard on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August at 7.30pm.

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