intercultural theatre and performing arts company

Dora vs Picasso

Written by Grace Nichols
Directed by Mark C. Hewitt

Current cast features
Sibylle Bernardin as Dora Maar
Richard Waring as Pablo Picasso

live Flamenco music and dance arranged and performed by Amor Flamenco
Ana Dueñas León (dance) José León (guitar) Julio Lopez Fuentes (voice)

“Medusa, Cleopatra, help me find my inner bitch.
Wasn’t I christened Henriette Theodora Markovitch?”

A multimedia production about photographer Dora Maar and her intense relationship during the 1930s with Pablo Picasso. Written by acclaimed Caribbean-British poet Grace Nichols, the work is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and features exhilarating acting, projected images, and live flamenco music & dance.

• “A stunning work.” ― Antony Penrose (Director, Farley Farm House)
• “Wonderful. Superb. So emotional.” ― (more audience feedback below)
• "The meaning of life – of love, lust, art and the torn and bleeding heart of Civil War Spain – were ripped out and laid bare last night in this flamenco-studded bull-roar of a drama at the tiny Tara Theatre, Earlsfield, South London. … Magnifico." (Blogsite review,
Steel City Scribblings - full review below)

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Cast photo 2018 (with Richard Waring as Picasso) © Philip James, 2018

Dora vs Piccasso cast
Cast photo (with Michael D'Cruze as Picasso) © Philip James, 2015

Performances to date

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2018 production
17/18/19 October - Tara Theatre, London

Previews 2015
15 January - Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
22 January - Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
3 February - All Saints Centre, Lewes

24 June - Birley Centre, Eastbourne (Eastbourne College Arts Festival)
16 July - Birley Centre, Eastbourne (as part of Eastbourne Festival):
21 July - Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London
24 July - Lewes All Saints Centre

2018 preview photos below © Philip James, 2018

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2015 preview photos below (with Michael D'Cruze as Picasso) © Philip James, 2015

More photos in the gallery page »
See the video trailer »

BLOG REVIEW 2018 ('Give Me Back My Face ')
• "The meaning of life – of love, lust, art and the torn and bleeding heart of Civil War Spain – were ripped out and laid bare last night in this flamenco-studded bull-roar of a drama at the tiny Tara Theatre, Earlsfield, South London. Sibylle Bernardin as surrealist photographer Dora Maar is muse, lover and – here exalted, there humiliated, always mesmerising – model to Richard Waring as the great Pablo Picasso: “ego big as a barn”, horns dipped in gore to paint the air of murdered Guernica. Both give it their all as Dora – passionate, dazzlingly intelligent and formidably human – reflects, with piercing wit and pathos against a backdrop of her own exposures to the world, on life scorched in a greater sun: Icarus to the inferno of Waring’s splendid Picasso. As if this weren’t feast enough, the onstage trio, Amor Flamenco, take this play – penned by Caribbean writer Grace Nichols and directed by Mark Hewitt – to another level. Julio Lopez Fuentes (voice) and José León (guitar) in full and ever present view at back of stage are one thing. But if not for top gun performances by Bernardin and Waring, the entire show might have been looted lock, stock and barrel by two dances of protracted brilliance by Ana Dueñas Leon: every move, scowl, staccato strut and steely grimace etching itself seamlessly into the wider dramas of hubristic vitality and love’s despair in a nation on the eve of greater suffering yet." (Blogsite review, Philip Roddis, Steel City Scribblings)


• ‘Everyone was very moved by the performance and it really deserves to tour.’
Simon Martin (Artistic Director, Pallant House Gallery)(
• ‘Informal feedback (on exit) was overwhelmingly positive, with many people congratulating the Museum for hosting such an ‘amazing piece of theatre’. The combination of words, images and flamenco was very powerful, and literally resonated through the audience through the floor of the Durbar Hall.’
Catherine Harvey (Education Officer, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery)

• ‘A superb production. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect from the music and backdrops to the fantastic dancing. The storyline flowed and was very clever.’
• ‘I saw ‘Dora’ in Hastings with friends and afterwards we talked about the event all night long.’
• ‘An impressive show – Grace Nichols is a fabulous wordsmith so the spoken word was excellent, full of such apposite words and the juxtaposition with song that seemed to reach deep into some emotional place ...’
• ’It was so unique. ... If there had been another showing of it I would have seen it all over again I really would. I have never seen Flamenco dance so dramatic and both the actors were top of their league.’
• ‘... what a wonderful show that was. Such a rich mixture of dance and poetry and drama. I absolutely loved it. The dancing and music was just beautiful.’
• ‘Absolutely superb. Olé, olé, bravo!! I loved everything about it, the concept the writing, the acting, the music.’
• ‘So educational and erudite and fun. The players were well chosen and acted the beautiful words so well, with the music and dance enhancing the whole evening.’
• ‘Finely acted and charged with emotion. The combination of acting, music, dance and images blended so well.’
• ‘The flamenco and choreography worked so well with the drama of the dialogues.’
• ‘... loved the show, the words so beautifully supported by great acting and the fabulous feeling of Duende evoked by the flamenco dancing and singing – a really inspiring and thought provoking work.’
• ‘Fantastic. Needs to be seen by many more people and I’d like to see it again.’
• ‘A marvellous mix of arts. Wonderful performances. Merci beaucoup pour ce moment plein d’emotions!’
• ‘A very very good performance from all the cast.’
• ‘Quite brilliant. Invigorating and full of power.’
• ‘Clever, funny, sad and inspiring. Great end.’