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Ovalhouse and Untold Arts in association with Colchester Arts Centre present

Catalina by Untold Arts

Written by Hassan Abdulrazzak and directed by Daniel Goldman

An Ovalhouse FiRST BiTES work-in-development.

Interactive, ensemble theatre exploring the relationship between Katherine of Aragon and her Moorish servant Catalina. Foreign lands, marriages, divorce…  
Forbidden faiths simmer amidst riots and religious doctrines in sixteenth-century Europe.

This event is part of the FiRST BiTES season
  • Wed 1 Apr – Sat 4 Apr, 8:45pm

Venue: Upstairs

Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs theatre is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

Spain. 1501. The Inquisition.  

Banned clothes, burned books, forced religious conversions or exile.

Two immigrants leave for the English court. One is Katherine, Spanish princess and future Queen of England. The other, her Moorish servant Catalina, is privy to secrets that will change the future of England forever, but what secrets of her own is she hiding..?

An award-winning team present this new play for Untold. Four actors play Tudor characters you'll recognise (and some that you won’t) using different languages, music, physical theatre and humour to explore a time you may know but a world that you may not.

Suitable for ages 14+


(On Hassan Abdulrazzak’s Baghdad Wedding)

‘The Prime Minister and his cabinet should take a brief course in political illumination. They should go to see Baghdad Wedding. Hot theatre.’ **** Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard

‘Fizzes with energy… We’ve heard all about the agonies of Baghdad before… but here’s a play that will make you see and feel it afresh.’ **** Benedict Nightingale, The Times

‘Exhilarating… The dialogue is quick, sardonic, full of character….’ Susannah Clapp, The Observer

‘In less than two hours, Abdulrazzak not only covers an enormous amount of territory, he also reminds us of the infinite human contradictions within any nation.’ Michael Billington, The Guardian

(On Daniel Goldman's Fuente Ovejuna)

'Tangram again show themselves to be fantastic story tellers.' ★★★★ What’s On Stage 

'Has theatre ever been so much fun?! It’s fun, energetic, dynamic, gripping and dark. Theatre at it's best.' ★★★★★ Everything Theatre


  • Wed 1 Apr, 7:45pm
  • Thu 2 Apr, 7:45pm
  • Fri 3 Apr, 7:45pm
  • Sat 4 Apr, 7:45pm

Untold, founded by Nadia Nadif and Lauren Johnson, aims to bring unknown stories to regional audiences, championing BAME & female characters through ensemble theatre and outreach workshops.


Zainab Hasan
Nadia Nadif
Leon Stewart
Nicholas Waters


Director Daniel Goldman is the artistic director of Tangram Theatre Company. As a freelance director, Daniel has directed ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ in Swahili for the Globe to Globe Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe and You’re not like the other girls Chrissy at the Bush and National Touring. Daniel is also the Artistic Director of CASA Latin American Theatre Festival, the UK’s most high profile celebration of Latin America theatre. 
Daniel Goldman has won The Better Bankside Shakespeare Award for Richard III. He was nominated for Olivier Award for Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy, Adelaide Fringe Best Production & Best Performer for The Origin of Species and Off Best Show & Best Director for Fuente Ovejuna.

Writer Hassan Abdulrazzak’s first play, ‘Baghdad Wedding’, premiered at Soho Theatre and went on to have productions in Australia and India. His second play, ‘The Prophet’, premiered at the Gate theatre, London. He co-wrote a screenplay adaptation of ‘Baghdad Wedding’ with Nick Drake (which was selected for the Brit List) and has also written numerous short plays, short stories, poems and articles. Hassan is also a scientist and received his PhD (on Muscular Dystrophy) in 1999 from University College London. Since 2006 he has been working on stem cell research and often comments on breaking science stories for the Arabic department of the BBC (TV & Radio).
His awards include the George Devine, the Meyer Whitworth, the Pearson and the Arab British Centre Award for Culture.

Producer Nadia Nadif graduated from Hull University with a Drama degree and trained with NYT.  She co-produced short film 'Leads and Follows' about the revival of swing dancing with a cast of 40.  She produced short comedy 'Help from the West' filmed on location in Morocco and premiered at BAFTA. It was Official Selection for London Independent Film Festival and the American Online Film Awards.  She co-founded Such Stuff, co-producing sell-out shows 'Our Country's Good,' Colchester Mercury Theatre and 'Exit the King,' Tabard Theatre.'
Nadia’s short film ‘Help from the West’ was Official Selection for London Independent Film Festival and the American Online Film Awards.

Historian and author Lauren Johnson studied History at Oxford University, graduating with a Double First. Lauren is Research Manager for Past Pleasures, the UK’s oldest and most experienced costumed interpretation company. Lauren’s interest in marginalised historical experience has also seen her present conference papers nationwide, including on the important but often overlooked role of women in the Wars of the Roses and the significance of ‘innocents’ (those with learning disabilities) in Henry VIII’s Court.  Her debut novel ‘The Arrow of Sherwood’ was published by Pen & Sword Fiction in 2013 and is about to be released in paperback. Lauren is currently writing a book exploring daily life in England in the year 1509 as part of a series for Head of Zeus. She was recently seen on BBC4’s ‘Castles’ and on Channel 4’s ‘Walking through History’ with Tony Robinson.
Her first novel 'The Arrow of Sherwood' was published in 2013, winning Golden Hammer & Anvil Shield excellence award for historic fiction.

Emma Jesse is a freelance set and costume designer working in theatre and film. She has a degree in Theatre Design from Rose Bruford College, where she graduated 2008. Since graduating she has worked on diverse projects such as;  costumes for the Notting hill carnival,  art work for Inter-Action's Fun Art Bus, and three installation pieces with Bexley women's-aid. Emma has also worked for the multi-award-winning theatre company Pants on Fire. Other stage work includeUnsung, a modern re-imagining of Nobel Prize winning Rabindranath Tagore’s short story  Punishment, and Parlon Film’s productions of Canterbury Tales and Dear Darwin, which has toured the UK and Spain. Films include Sugar Kitten directed by Chris MacDonald, and Sc.25 by Norwegian director Kjetil Alexander Gudmestad.

Movement Director Kristoffer Huball is a graduate of L'Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, Paris. Co-founder of Rhum and Clay Theatre Comany he has also collaborated with companies and artists such as Tanz Theatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Annish Kapoor and Akram Kahn, The National Ballet of Canada at Sadlers Wells and The National Theatre of Wales, Wales:LAB. As a movement director he has had work commissioned by Le Musee du Louvre in Paris and The British Museum where he devised and directed the movement based film publicising the Ice Age Exhibition in 2013.

Voice Coach Fanos Xenofos is currently studying MA Voice Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama, and recently worked as voice coach on a tour of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Hal Chambers. He also trained as an actor at ALRA, and will be touring the Middle East next month playing the lead in Rest Upon The Wind written by Nadim Sawalha. Other theatre credits include Swimming With Sharks (Vaudeville Theatre), Antigone (Southwark Playhouse), Tunnel (Brighton Festival), Rest Upon The Wind (Riverside Studios, Jordan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi), Dogs Barking (Toronto & Edinburgh Festivals)

Facilitator Géhane Strehler is a professional trained actor who delivers various workshops: Public Speaking, Poetry Performance, Presentation Skills for adults and Creative Writing, Devising, PHSE Outreach, Literacy for school age students. Géhane has been head of LAMDA at two theatre schools delivering all modules for certification: Acting, Devising, Reading for Performance, Public Speaking, Verse & Prose, Musical Theatre, Mime as well as being CELTA qualified to work with refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers and bi-lingual children to improve use of the English language. Email for more information on bespoke workshops and tuition.

Maia Alvarez Stratford – Stage Manager.

Additional information

Catalina is a part of Ovalhouse' FiRST BiTES series of new performance pieces, currently in development and presented as work-in-progress showings.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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