A play rarely produced anywhere in the world, Desire Caught by the Tail, is a highly stylised, surrealist piece of theatre written by the artist Pablo Picasso.

DesireWritten in 1941, in Paris under the Occupation, Picasso’s piece reflects the devastation of its time with equal parts angst and humour. Desire Caught by the Tail had its first public reading in 1944, directed and produced by Albert Camus and featured performances by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Leiris, and Raymond Queneau among others.

With characters including The Tart, The Onion, Big Foot, Thin Anxiety and Silence, Picasso’s play is a play of misery, discomfort, anguish, hunger and passion which is caught in the impossibility of its fulfilment. It is bawdy, burlesque, outrageous and funny, with a lyrical spoken language which incorporates high poetics and absurdist juxtapositions.

LUXE is pleased to premiere this largely unknown theatrical gem to London audiences. In 2016 we are faced with a multitude of complex positions and relationships within modern warfare, nationalism and social battlegrounds. The absurdity of annihilation is a constant thread in Picasso’s 1941 play; as such it remains chillingly and determinedly relevant to us all in 2016.

The absurdity of annihilation is a constant threat in Desire Caught By The Tail; as such it remains chillingly and determinedly relevant to us all in 2016. The production is presented by LUXE.

Founded by Artistic Director Cradeaux Alexander, LUXE is an award-winning company dedicated to experimenting with form and theatrical language. LUXE’s performances explore the space between theatre, visual art and performance.  

Previous work has enticed its audiences to discuss their pieces ‘in more detail and at greater length than any other play we we’ve seen recently’ (Peter Brown, London Theatre archive, Theatro Technis), and Desire Caught by the Tail promises to be no different.  

The cast includes Clare Almond, Hugh Leadon, Eldi Dundee, Molly Ward and Natasha Colenso.

The play runs in the Bow Arts Courtyard, 183 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ, on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August at 7.30pm (doors from 7pm).

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Stephen Collins

With years of experience on both sides of the curtain, Stephen Collins has worked as an actor, singer, director, producer and casting consultant, indulging his passion for live theatre. Occasionally a media lawyer, who has worked in-house for the likes of Channel 4 and The Sunday Times, he can usually be found in an audience. In 2014 and 2015, he was lead critic for Britishtheatre.com. He thinks the West End and London is the centre of the theatrical universe (sorry Broadway!), but fears it’s not possible to see absolutely everything that’s on there. He doesn’t stop trying though. Cocktails help when it all gets too much.