Find out more about the theatre company, which will be bringing its latest show to the Arcola Theatre later this month.
Foreign Affairs is a micro theatre company with an adventurous spirit, run by the creative duo Camila França and Trine Garrett. Their work focuses on theatre in translation, multicultural exchange and collaboration, and performance in unconventional spaces. In short, Foreign Affairs brings theatre from around the world to local audiences.
Camila and Trine met during an acting course in 2008 and bonded over a shared sense of feeling like outsiders in the industry. They were tired of being typecast as the “Spanish maid” and “Scandinavian person,” and they wanted more. In that moment, the idea for Foreign Affairs was born: a theatre company that would challenge the status quo and champion unheard voices.
In August 2010, Foreign Affairs made its debut performance in an unconventional setting: a derelict pub in Hackney Wick. They transformed this former rave venue into a theatre, showcasing their knack for thinking outside the box. With minimal experience in producing and directing, their determination and resourcefulness shone through, turning challenges into opportunities.
Their first performance was memorable for its unexpected events and charm. Rain came through the roof, an improvised theatre light was activated by an audience member’s wave, and 150 attendees enjoyed their own wine in the room. These moments showed the magic of live performances.
The company has been going strong ever since.
In the past decade, Foreign Affairs has produced a wide range of work, including The Wetsuitman by Freek Mariën, translated by David McKay; Where I Call Home by Marc-Antoine Cyr, translated by Charis Ainslie; The Warmhouse by Anna Bro, translated by Paul Russell Garrett; and The Unburied, The Saint of Darkness by András Visky, translated by Jozefina Komporaly.
However, their work is not limited to the stage alone. Foreign Affairs also actively engages with emerging theatre-makers, translators and local young people through workshops and training programmes. Their Theatre Translator Mentorship programme, unique in the industry, exemplifies their dedication to nurturing talent and building bridges between languages and cultures.
Foreign Affairs is committed to creating theatre that is both challenging and accessible. They want to create theatre that makes people think, challenges their assumptions, and even makes them a little unsettled. But they also want to make sure that their work is accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their background or experience. They are committed to creating theatre that is inclusive and diverse, and they are always looking for new ways to tell stories and engage audiences.
In their own words, Foreign Affairs is about “theatre beyond borders.” They are not afraid to experiment with new forms and spaces, and they are always looking for ways to connect with audiences in new and innovative ways.
If you are looking for theatre that is both exciting and thought-provoking, then Foreign Affairs is definitely worth checking out. They are a company that is making waves in the London theatre scene, and they are sure to continue to do great things in the years to come.
Catch Foreign Affairs’ latest show: The Wetsuitman at the Arcola Theatre from Tuesday 29 August to Saturday 2 September. Tickets are available now. https://www.arcolatheatre.com/whats-on/the-wetsuitman/