We’re thrilled that Lola Arias’ Minefield comes to HOME as part of the venue’s annual ¡VIVA! Festival. Now in its 24th year, the festival returns in full cultural glory and brings you a selection of the most exciting theatre, film and visual art from Spain and Latin America.
Minefield sees six real-life Falklands/ Malvinas war veterans, who once encountered each other on a battlefield, confronted with each other in a performance space. Lola Arias’ piercingly vivid production explores the psychological impact of the Falklands/ Malvinas War on the soldiers from both sides.
“War isn’t what interests me,” explains Lola Arias. “It’s what comes after the war that interests me. What matters to me is what happens to a person who went through that experience. What matters to me is what memory has done, what it has erased, what it has transformed.”
The production, which fuses archive footage with music from a live band, was devised in collaboration with ex-Argentinian and British War veterans. As well as weaving multi-media into the storytelling, Arias frequently puts non-actors front and centre – in Minefield the soldiers from the Falklands/ Malvinas War are also onstage performers.
Sharing memories, films, songs and photos, the soldiers recall their collective war and the political figures that led them into it. The production features Gabriel Sagastume, a soldier who never wanted to shoot a gun and now works as a criminal lawyer; Marcelo Vallejo, who went on to become a triathlon champion; Ruben Otero, who survived the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano and who now plays in a Beatles tribute band; David Jackson, who spent the war listening and transcribing radio codes and who now listens to other veterans in his role as a counsellor; Sukrim Rai, a Gurkha and knife-expert who now works as a security guard; and Lou Armour, who was on the front page of every UK newspaper when he was taken prisoner on 2 April 1982.
Minefield is a bilingual piece and so deliberately has both English and Spanish surtitles. These men, soldier, veteran, human – have stories to tell and Minefield seeks to take its audience through the horrors of battle to the unease of society today, with unflinching honesty and surprising humour.