The lion and the lion tamer

Even before A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Heidi and Rolf had been insisting that I should write a theatre piece for Mapa Teatro. At first, I honestly thought it was a joke and told them that going from Cortazar, Beckett and Müller to a vulgar Rodriguez was like doing a somersault without a safety net. But it turned out they were not joking. It was for real. And they both insisted so much that I agreed and began writing The lion and the lion tamer, more to please them than from any real desire to write.
The starting point of this text was a small news article that Heidi found in a newspaper. She has the gift of finding curious notes, that can be dramatized. In this case, the information concerned a Cuban female lion tamer who, during the nefarious "Special Period" (early 1990) in which the population of the island barely had food to eat, lost the lions she worked with. Due to this, the artist had to get a job in a foreign circus taming other people’s beasts. When she visited Colombia, the tamer had tried to obtain political asylum but it had been denied. This piece of news was so amazing and yet so heartbreaking, that it was a perfect stimulus in order to start creating.

Antonio Orlando Rodríguez


Two people - emigrants and dreamers - leave their land in search of prosperity and fortune, but like all expatriation governed by a dream, their lives are torn from the beginning between the reality of what they left behind and the chimera of what can be.

Suburbia magazine, March 1998.

Artistic Team