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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Playing Latinx

MarianaMalena Theatre and Guido Garcia Lueches

Genre: Comedy, Theatre

Venue: Summerhall


Low Down

MarianaMalena Theatre and Guido Garcia Lueches bring Playing Latinx, a one man show that is part lecture and part play.


Guido Garcia Lueches will teach you how to become the best Latinx, or at least one British people want you to be. Plating Latinx is a one man show that switches between a lecture format and castings for different Latin roles Guido has gone for as an actor. He goes through the most important characteristics of the Latinx: angry, sexy and confused, but above anything emotional. The strong accent, the long name and the tragic migrant story are essential to the Latinx in the UK, anything outside this stereotype will baffle British people. Through hilariously written sketches he will give the audience members new names, a Latinx presence and tragic stories. He is incredibly charming, engaging and friendly, the perfect coach for the Latin model minority. He switches seamlessly into Spanish in a way that English speakers can still understand but dropping some jokes for us Latin people in the crowd.

The show explores what the Latin stereotype is in the UK, a migrant group that is slightly new to this country, which has gathered most of its information about Latinx from Hollywood representation. This materialises in a series of sharply written, constraining and stereotypical auditions Guido goes to. In spite of being an educated white Latino from a developed city like Montevideo in Uruguay, he repeatedly has to play all sorts of different Latin nationalities, extremely foreign to his reality. He can be a Peruvian shaman, a Colombian narco, a Mexican mariachi and a Cuban revolutionary. These roles all fall into three tight categories: lover, fighter and comic relief. He plays these roles with astute characterisation and outstanding comedic quality and timing, aided with spirited music and lighting design. Audience participation is key and the students of the talk come on stage regularly to learn or embody different characters, showing off Guido’s stellar crowd work and witty improvisation skills.  Seeing him fervently teach white people how to be Latin also highlights the ridiculousness of the stereotype.

Guido is both desperate for roles in a country that does not kindly accept migrants and complicit in the white washing of Latin culture, by his hand as a white Latino playing indigenous characters and being part of projects that cast European white people to play Latin roles. He boldly highlights how the UK perpetrates the stereotypes that they help to build through colonising practices, draining Latin countries’ resources for hundreds of years and more recently placing dictators and then aiding their escapes. But the Latinx must not be logical, so dwelling on these issues is useless, this energy must be devoted to embody the steamy stereotype, dancing as a release is encouraged.

This broken identity, torn between what he is and what he is asked to be, erases Guido and hinders his possibility to play a fully fleshed out Latin character. In spite of the bleak undertone, Playing Latinx feels hopeful, not only due to its hilarious comedy, but also because the shift in Latin representation has just started in the UK. In a country unaware of the nuances of foreign cultures, Guido illustrates the different shades of Latin culture, giving us a voice and widening our opportunities, hopefully to be more than three stereotypes.

As a Latina, the show is a breath of fresh air that helps to let go of the tight grip of attempting to both live up to and break out of the stereotype, allowing us to be people and not just caricatures. And for non-Latin people, this is a beautiful and hilarious piece of art that will broaden your mind and shine a light on the fact that the same amount of complex identities that exist in Britain, also exist in every other country, no matter how far.