Manuelita (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


An Edinburgh Festival Fringe retelling of the South American revolutions through a forgotten voice

Manuelita is an exuberant character in jodhpurs and hand tailored military coat who greets the audience at the door and does not shy from dropping into the occasional lap to recount her sadly forgotten adventures with the Latin American revolutionary, Simon Bolivar.

The show starts slowly: a bitter woman, literally wrapped in the letters she exchanged with her lover, Bolivar, angered at being left out of his biography. Her chaotic life is then unraveled through the hour, one scandalous story at a time.

Writer and performer Tamsin Clarke breathes life into a woman who could ride like a man and in the end fought with them during the continent’s quest for freedom. The highlight of the show, however, is the relationship between Manuelita and the guitarist, played by Camilo Menjura. Throughout the performance the constant Latin guitar of this conscience in the corner provides the mood, the soundtrack, the very heartbeat of the performance, lifting our heroine up and occasionally reining in her passionate nature. A show for lovers and lovers of classical Latin guitar.

Underbelly, 08445 458252, until 24 Aug (not 12), £10 (£9).


  • 3 stars

Popelei Theatre The revolutionary who captured the spirit of a continent. A tour-de-force by Lecoq-trained Tamsin Clarke, featuring Colombian guitarist Camilo Menjura (2014 Latin UK Awards Musician Of The Year). Blending storytelling, comedy, physical theatre and live music, Manuelita promises Fringe-goers a toe-tapping…