Project Description

NukeButtonÑuke (Mother)

by David Arancibia Urzúa (Chile), 2013
Three male, three female.


In Chile’s rural south, Carmen sees her native Mapuche community demonised, her family invaded and her ancient way of life threatened by a seemingly unstoppable outside world. As her neighbours seek to resist while the country stands ambivalent to their plight, how long will this mother hold out before her stoicism reaches breaking point?

I dreamed of a storm…

Mawen! Mawen! Mawen! The sky was screaming it. Mawen! Mawen! Mawen! The birds were singing it too. I heard the leufu bursting its banks and screaming. I was in my bed and I heard it. My piwke was racing. I was scared. I got dressed. I went out to see the animals, but they weren’t there. I started walking through the countryside and I saw dead dogs lying on the ground. The buzzards dancing in a circle. They didn’t care about the rain. I kept on walking as far as a stream; the oxen were there trying to climb out, but they couldn’t: they were washed away by a flood. I ran back to see the other animals and they were all locked up. Protected. Sleeping. The sheep. The pigs. Even the chickens. But one was missing. Clucking outside. Looking for her chicks but they were nowhere to be seen. She never found them. She stood there in the rain; she looked tired. She was soaked, caked in mud; the raindrops trickling over her wings like tears of sorrow. I woke up and it was raining…

I felt such terrible sadness.

Ñuke was first performed in English at the Royal Court Theatre in September 2013, directed by Hettie Macdonald and performed by Abby Ford, Stephen Hagan, Richard Katz, Aaron Neil, Meera Syal and Suzan Sylvester.

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