Angela De Castro, Yo-Yo / My life is like a Yo-Yo

Review in Issue 15-1 | Spring 2003

Through her stories and poetry, the formidable form of Angela De Castro takes us on a tour of her life so far, with a stack of ‘emotional baggage’. Salsa, samba, rock ‘n’ roll and other melodies from live musicians form the soundtrack for the chic-suited clown as she recounts experiences from her life. A set with a sky at its centre, clouds forming a map of continents stretched across it, indicate her bird’s eye view of the world.

As De Castro guides us from one location, and one stage in her life, to the next, suitcases are constantly stacked up, moved around and opened. Each bag, an individual design piece in its own right, becomes a quirky space (a kitchen, a dressing room, a bar) and a scene setting for Bryony Lavery’s script.

De Castro has delved deep, sharing early memories and aspirations, life traumas and successes. These are dished up in light-hearted flourish; in one scene she drunkenly pours her heart out to a fly on a bar, in another she recounts the spunky reproach that got her into college in London. As she tells her stories she seems to watch her audience with interest: responsive to their reaction. In performance, she is natural and candid and appears to enjoy relating these tales and the reaction they provoke.

Known previously for her work with Slava Polunin and more recently with the establishment of the Why Not Institute for clowns, De Castro’s Yo-Yo is an epic re-cap on how she came to be here. She sees herself in a number of guises: the unusual and confused schoolgirl back home in Brazil, a young woman empowered by making her own way in the world, a woman weakened by emotional and physical trauma in her life, and the person she is now, older and more informed.

It’s as if this piece signifies that De Castro has lived her life without regret, and can comfortably look forward into a future where more adventures, good and bad, lie ahead. As she loudly and proudly sings, ‘My life is going up and down just like a yo-yo!’

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-1
p. 28