Co-creator and co-writer of My Uncle is Not Pablo Escobar, Elizabeth Alvarado talks to us about representation, stereotypes and bringing the show to Brixton House this June.
Tell us a bit about My Uncle is Not Pablo Escobar, what’s the show about?
The show is about four powerful south London latinx young people who come together to bring down an institution; through this process they explore their dual identities and the relationships they have with each other.
Why did you want to make the show?
As a lover of the arts, I was tired of not recognising myself within those spaces. I was tired of being told and feeling like I was only allowed in those spaces if I was cleaning them or watching from the outside. The invisibility and lack of representation of my community became too much of a weight to bear. One of the many reasons for making this show was to empower, represent and make my community visible. For younger generations to feel like they are allowed to dream because dreams do come true. I no longer want it to be hard for us to enter spaces, I no longer want us to have to fight our way into spaces such as the arts or political movements. This show also proves that activism and the arts do go hand in hand; that you can create change through the arts.
Who’s on your team and how are rehearsals going?
My team consists of my co-creators, Valentina Andrade, Lucy Wray, and Tommy Ross- Williams. The actors, Cecilia Alfonso-Eaton, Nathaly Sabino, Pia Laborde-Noguez and Yanexi Enriquez. Our dramaturg, Jo Nastari. Our Producer, Daisy Hale. Rehearsals are well into week three, we are all excited and slightly nervous about how close we are to opening night. The entire team is working hard to make this the best Latinx show ever. We are all very motivated.
What do you hope audiences take away from this show?
My hope is for audiences to be more conscious of us, how they think of us and how any stereotypes that have been drummed into them are not real and should be unlearned every day because they are so harmful. I also hope that my community feels empowered and celebrated because we are so much more than what society has deemed us. I hope young latinx people feel seen and that they know they are not alone. My hope for my community in the audience, is for them to know that they are allowed to be in any space and take up that space. Especially as women, they do not have to be silent or quiet to be accepted into that space.
What’s next for you?
That is a good question, I find myself thinking the same thing. I would love to have funding for legacy work. I have always been passionate and an advocate for mental health. Within the Latinx community mental health is still a taboo subject for some families, especially first gen migrants. I would love to be able to create a safe space somewhere within South London for young people to come and talk to professionals without having to wait on an NHS list for a year. And a space for family elders to learn about mental health and how they can help those within their families in a safe way. I would also like to keep working more on my writing, whether for a company, author my own book or create show number two? We will see.
My Uncle is Not Pablo Escobar plays at Brixton House 7-24 June 2023. Tickets and more details here