Interview: Writer & Performer Guido García Lueches on Playing Latinx at Soho Theatre

Interview: Writer & Performer Guido García Lueches on Playing Latinx at Soho Theatre

Ahead of short run at the Soho Theatre – which made it on to a certain monthly preview list you might’ve heard of – we caught up with Guido García Lueches to talk about award-winning show Playing Latinx, influences & inspirations, immigrant experiences, drag, and Things To Do in London!

Playing Latinx | Soho Theatre | 10-13 April | From £16

Interview: Writer & Performer Guido García Lueches on Playing Latinx at Soho Theatre 1
Image: Vicky Polack

Hi Guido, tell us about your show Playing Latinx – what can audiences expect?

Hi! In Playing Latinx audiences can expect, above all, a raucous comedy show. There will be latin music, stupid accents, many jokes at my expense, and a healthy amount of audience interaction. In the show I’m essentially teaching the audience How to Be a Successful Latinx, which is as politically incorrect and silly as you can imagine. 

It’s a half theatre show, half stand up, trying to sneak  some strong political points in between the laughs? Is it even possible to make strong political points while dancing salsa with an audience member? Come find out!

Who or what are your inspirations for creating work that exposes the Latinx lived experience?

I’d say the main inspirations have been the other remarkable Latin American artists I’ve met during my time in London. I won’t name names because I’ll leave someone out, but it’s been so incredible finding and making a community here that feels very much like home, who never gets talked about, so I wanted to tell a little slice of our story and struggle. 

More concrete inspirations are of course John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, to which this is a direct homage, and Arinze Kene’s Misty, which blew my mind at the time, and also Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, in how she plays with the balance of funny and not funny.

How does being an immigrant shape your work, and how important is it for immigrant artists to share their own experiences?

I arrived in the UK 10 years ago, so all I’ve really known is Brexit Britain. You can imagine how, in that context, being an immigrant hugely tinges how I view the world. The decolonial lens is definitely at the forefront of my work, but it’s not just in the discourse. It also comes out in the approach, which tends to be sillier and louder than what the proper British thing to do might be. I also come from a tradition of theatre that is a lot more political than the UK one, where theatre and the resistance were very much connected, so it is quite frustrating to see how in love with the establishment British theatre sometimes is. I’m sure that feeling also comes across a lot of the time. 

What role does drag play in your work?

Well, in this show I get to play an over the top character who makes fun of stereotypes, as well as flirting with the audience while I read them to filth, so you tell me. I’m not playing with gender explicitly, so it’s not quite drag, but the influence is definitely there. I adore drag, it has taught me most of what I know about chatting up an audience, among other things. 

What advice would you give to a performer thinking of sharing their own life experience through performance?

Do it! You gotta do it. If you have something to say then you have something to say, follow that instinct. You’d be surprised by the amount of people who feel the same way, or at least with whom your story will resonate. I always think what I’m doing is too niche, but more often than not there will be someone in the crowd that night who’s gonna feel absolutely seen by the show, and that’s who you do it for, really. Just make sure it’s fun. It’ll make everything easier if it’s fun.

What are your favourite haunts in London and beyond?

I’m gonna be a very bad guest and confess I barely go out out any more, so my tips here might be useless. I moved to South London in 2021 and am just loving the south of the river vibes. Getting lost trying to get to and from the river, the Latin shops and restaurants in Elephant & Castle, Burgess Park. God, my life is pretty boring, can we just go back to talking about art and politics? 

Don’t miss Playing Latinx at Soho Theatre, 10-13 April – book tickets now.

Main Image Credit: Vicky Polack