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This Festival draws its inspiration from the places where Catherine of Aragon lived and died. A strong woman, she united the destinies of two great nations in the XVI century, England and the crown of Castille and Aragon, now known as Spain.


The Festival aims to bridge the two cultures, bringing out aspects of Spain´s literature, history, and art on English soil, establishing in this way a bond with British universities to create deeper mutual understanding.

Every two years, the Festival organises a prize "The Catherine of Aragon Award" for Spanish speaking playwrights. Their topic is female characters who have exercised social, political or artistic influence in the history of Spain and UK and can bring to light women who perhaps never gained the attention they deserved. The chosen work is then translated into English by the Open University and performed with the help of the University of Bedfordshire.

 The House of Bernarda Alba January 2020.

Video Summary

The first award was given to Neftalí Diaz, a playwright from The Canary Islands for his work María, Sangra. Bleed, Mary, about two sisters Elizabeth and Mary Tudor and their relationship with Philip II. On other occasions, plays are put on which tell of historical episodes relevant to both England and Spain.

This Festival is still in its infancy, indeed 2022 represents its third outing, and our aim is that it grows and grows.

We are hosting more plays, art exhibitions and initiatives between Spanish and British universities.

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María Graciani is the artistic director of the Festival and Bedford Young Theatre is producing and coordinating some of the activities.

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