In Free Admission Úrsula Martínez constructs –quite literally– a brick wall between her and the seating area, while she opens up, revealing her hopes and describing her frustrations, joys and disillusionment, both personal and universal.
In 2006 somebody uploaded a video of Úrsula Martínez’s show Hanky Panky to YouTube and it quickly went viral. No surprise there. Works by this diva with a cult following in London explore the boundaries of comedy, the burlesque genre and performance, and have won over audiences in venues like the Barbican in London, the Sydney Opera House and Fondation Cartier in Paris.
With international critics singing her praises: “Funny, tongue-in-cheek, heartfelt and emotional”, according to The Guardian; “adorably unconventional”, in the opinion of The Times, and “a demonstration of honesty, vulnerability and power”, according to Time Out, she will be in Spain to present Free Admission.
Born to an English father and a Spanish mother, Úrsula started out working in experimental theatre companies, and in the mid 1990s she set out to conquer London’s cabarets all on her own. Fusing her two different careers, theatre and cabaret, she created A Family Outing, a brave autobiographical baring of her family, starring herself and her parents. Later on she presented two new shows, also autobiographical, which rounded off the trilogy Me, Me Me! which was presented at the Barbican in 2006.
Her work blends various theatrical concepts, personal experiences, popular forms and provocation. At its core, it is an exploration of humour and what it means to be human. In keeping with this, following the unexpected virtual success of Hanky Panky she created My Stories, Your Emails, a solo theatre act about the sudden and constant attention she has received from virtual fans.
In Free Admission Úrsula constructs –quite literally– a brick wall between her and the seating area, while she opens up, revealing her hopes and describing her frustrations, joys and disillusionment, both personal and universal.
In Free Admission she celebrates the inconsistencies and contradictions that make us human while exploring the chaos of our actions. Úrsula Martínez bares her soul (and possibly more) in an attempt to understand the absurdity of modern life, while the audience laughs.
Photo © Alicja Dobrucka
Written and performed by: Úrsula Martínez
Director: Mark Whitelaw
Technical director: Chris Copland
Production manager: Anya Tavkar
Subtitles: Tomás Lorca
Curated by: Southbank Centre and Fierce Festival
Language: English and Spanish with Spanish subtitles