On Stage: Casa Portuguesa

Photos: Tomás Monteiro
Words: Cláudia Pinto

We entered D. Maria II directly via the stage. A privilege that has become a chain of emotions. The electrifying energy of the stage rests under the chandeliers of the national theatre in a harmony broken by the deconstructed scenario of Casa Portuguesa. On the improvised wall is written “Everything ends, everything”.
Pedro Penim’s show is his first as director of the National Theatre and is an intense dialogue in time and in space that both confronts and questions the architecture of a family, a man, a house, and which journeys from the Estado Novo to the present while scrutinising the future.

In charge of the costumes for the talent-rich cast is Joana Duarte from Bèhen, a brand which is in fact dedicated to the production of pieces inspired by Portuguese techniques. The shoes also stood out on stage. Mariano, Sanjo, Josefinas and Sons of a Cobbler were the brands chosen for a cast that includes such names as Carla Maciel, João Lagarto, Sandro Feliciano and Fado Bicha’s Lila Tiago and João Caçador.

Joana Duarte, who has always thought of her collections as testimonies of a reality that is in our DNA, while she builds her pieces with the country’s stories, considers this invitation from the D. Maria II National Theatre as “the perfect opportunity to introduce these techniques into projects that go beyond the collections. It is an honour to be able to give a stage, in Portugal’s leading theatre, to the artisans with whom I’ve been working on this creation – a creation that confronts us with our identity”.

The show will tour the country in 2023.

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