Feature: The untold story of a woman bullfighter

No stranger to the Vaults London, Tallulah Brown along with Tangled Thread Theatre Company brings you the world premiere of After The Heat We Battle For the Heart.

This year’s production After The Heat We Battle For The Heart is the untold story of the Latina bullfighter Conchita Cintron, who was a famous bullfighter in the 1940s. The show explores themes of feminism, adventure and her life in a man’s world. The show is a clever exploration of both the past and present and alongside Cintron’s story within the show, we meet Ruth. 1949 and 2015 cross paths in this play as we go from the strong female heroine Conchita to Ruth, who is unemployed and just returned home from a Salsa lesson. “This year the show seems much more hot off the press. I only finished writing the show on New Year’s Eve which was a month before we started on the play.”

“This was my first attempt at a biographical piece and in order to gain ‘permission’ to use it, you have to research heavily.” It is quite an unusual story which many readers may not know about. Brown mentions that her way of stumbling across the story and idea was a gift, “ The show itself had been attempted twice before, both by men and someone simply said to me, why don’t you have a read of this and give it ago, you’re a woman.” Laughing, she goes on to say: “It is hard writing a biographical piece, but from the moment I read it I knew it was a story I wanted to explore. I am the same age now that Conchita was, so the story resonated with me.”

“During the research and development stage I knew pretty early on that I wanted to focus more on the fact that Conchita was a woman in a male dominated industry, and with that she had many struggles and obstacles to overcome. This for me stood out more then the gore of bullfighting.” Brown is a vegetarian and very strong advocate for animal rights, but she knew that would be “a different play to explore and not the one I wanted to tell at the time “

“What I am most excited about is having a half Spanish and half English cast, combing both has made for a perfect fit, and really help the show and story come to life .“ The show is made up of a small cast of only four actors.  Paula Rodriguez as Conchita, Fed Zanni as Ruy, Jennie Eggleton as Ruth and Josh Taylor as Sam.

Being a singer herself, Brown is able to combine her passion for both writing and singing and use them to help aid one another. “Both are forms of story telling and compliment each other, and each also gives me a sense of escapism at times from the other when I need it.” A great example that as an artist you can never have too many strings to your bow. Her band, Trills, sung in her last show and Trills also sung in the Suffragette trailer, a film released in 2015 starring Meryl Streep.

Coming from university and the Channel Four Writers scheme Brown’s words of wisdom are to have thick skin. “Rejection is part of the process, so try not to take it too personal. Putting your work out there is extremely personal but you have to think very nine to five about it. Once you have done your job on the artistic process it’s time to let other people do their job. So if they direct you differently or change parts of your work that is their job, so let them do it.” She also admits that she finds this advice hard to follow herself but knows life would be easier if she did.

After The Heat We Battle For The Heart is playing at Vault Festival 24-28 February, including a matinee performance.