‘A Curse of Saints’: Fear, Faith and Superstition in Colonial Cyprus

Ghosts. God. Omens. Superstition.

Having premiered at The Old Red Lion’s London Horror Festival to enthusiastic response from audiences, The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company’s ‘A Curse of Saints’ is set to return to the London fringe scene for a week-long run at the Bread & Roses Theatre in Clapham.

“A masterclass in writing, staging, lighting, performance and storytelling.
This chilling tale… literally had me on the edge of my seat.”
– Nicholas Vince, patron of the London Horror Festival

Cyprus, the late 19th century. The British have begun to take the island from the Ottomans. When a boy is found dead in an olive grove, his fellow villagers blame the ghost of an Anatolian gypsy. A local shepherd, however, has been suffering from nightmares and hallucinations, and believes them to be warnings about the coming Brits. He is convinced that a boy’s death is only a sign of worse to come…

Blending horror, nationalism, colonialism, folklore, faith and ritual, ‘A Curse of Saints’ is writer-performer Polis Loizou’s first theatrical piece set in his motherland of Cyprus.

‘This piece was actually inspired by the Brexit Referendum,’ says Loizou, ‘what with the current debates on free movement, xenophobia and the notion of sovereignty. I thought it would be fascinating to use that as the springboard for a horror piece, since the genre has always been an accurate reflection of society’s concerns.’

Having made the UK his home in 2001 at the age of 16, Loizou has no time for nationalism. He was born and raised in a divided Cyprus (a Greek South and a Turkish North, following the war of 1974), but has had British nationality from birth. His grandparents, being colonials, were the same.

True to Cyprus’ history, the world in which ‘A Curse of Saints’ takes place is a multicultural one. A melting pot of European and Middle-Eastern peoples and traditions, where Muslim and Christian beliefs intertwine. Greek Orthodox hymns sit alongside folk songs from Asia Minor.

‘A Curse of Saints’ is the first part of a planned triptych for The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company, who will each be creating a one-person show inspired by their cultural heritage.

PERFORMANCES

30th May – 3rd June, 7.30pm
4th June, 2.30pm

The Bread & Roses Theatre
68 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham, London SW4 6DZ
www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk
info@breadandrosestheatre.co.uk
020 8050 3025

Tickets: £10 (£9 conc.)
bit.ly/CurseofSaints (http://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/a-curse-of-saints.html)

THE OFF-OFF-OFF-BROADWAY COMPANY

Made up of film-makers / writers / performers Jaacq Hugo, Laura Louise Baker and Polis Loizou, this award-winning company has toured a string of successful shows around the UK, including festival hits Peaceful and Back Door. They’re inspired by history, colourful characters, the uncanny and the subversive. Since the untimely death of their beloved friend John Beecher, they donate a portion of all proceeds to the John Beecher Memorial Fund, among a variety of cancer and healthcare charities.
www.offoffoffbroadway.co.uk | @ooobroadway | facebook.com/ooobroadway

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