Teatro Municipal do Porto receives FITEI with eight proposals on several stages

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Alejandra Amere

The Festival Internacional de Teatro de Expressão Ibérica (International Iberian Expression Theatre Festival) returns for its 47th edition from 15 to 26 May. The stages of Teatro Municipal do Porto will present eight works on the festival's motto - trauma, bravery and phantasmagoria.

Over the course of two weeks, the cities of Porto, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia and Viana do Castelo will host 20 shows, 14 of which are absolute and/or national premieres. Of those, eight will be presented at Teatro Rivoli or at Campo Alegre.

The return of Hotel Europa to Campo Alegre marks the start of the festival at TMP, this Wednesday and Thursday. 'Luta Armada' continues the company's investigation of the recent past, analysing the political projects that resorted to violent actions such as bank robberies, bombings, sabotage, among others, as a form of struggle. This work begins by describing the actions of groups who saw armed struggle as the only way to end fascism and Portuguese colonialism. Its starting point is an extensive collection of testimonies and document research, creating a multidisciplinary documentary theatre show.

Campo Alegre will also present, on the 16th and 17th, Ardemente's 'The Night Ship'. Based on the text of the same name by Marguerite Duras, five performers embark on 'The Night Ship', a story about language, images, darkness and desire.

On the same days, and for the first time in Portugal, Janaina Leite's 'Stabat Mater' will be presented on Rivoli's Grand Auditorium Stage. Based on the theoretical text Stabat Mater (Latin for 'the mother stood'), by philosopher Julia Kristeva, the artist proposes the format of a lecture-performance on the feminine, going back to the story of Virgin Mary. With horror and pornography as its aesthetic bases, it investigates the origins of a historical arrangement between the feminine and the masculine.

The premiere of Eduardo Breda's 'Matagal' marks the end of the first week of the festival, on the 18th and 19th, at Campo Alegre. For this work, the director starts from the idea of a wasteland, its plant and animal diversity and its harmony with ruin. He also used Portuguese Sign Language as the starting point for movement, so both performances feature this interpretation.

After presenting episodes #1 and #2 at Teatro Campo Alegre in 2021, Mafalda Banquart & Emanuel Santos present a new episode, 'WHAT PLATO SAID TO ARIANA GRANDE', at Rivoli on Sunday 19th. In this podcast-show, dialogue is explored as a strategy for reflection (common to philosophy and podcasts) and the episodes can be listened to afterwards online. This third episode will discuss the themes of ecology and the divine and their point of intersection: time. A priest, a producer and a queer artist are invited.

Trauma, bravery and phantasmagoria writing the 47th edition

I called 'One night at the golden bar' the experience of making myself vulnerable in order to find the beauty that appears in the cheesy, heartfelt, old-fashioned and queer declaration of love, says director Alberto Cortés. This show will be performed on the 21st and 22nd at Rivoli. The artist sought a way to highlight the fragility of affection from a queer gaze. He also invokes the figure of the angel, questioning the identities that find themselves in a 'vulnerable and monstrous place'.

On Thursday, 23 May, the Chilean company La Re-Sentida presents 'Tenderness as a possibility' at Teatro Rivoli. On stage there are seven adolescents between 13 and 17 years old, approaching the theme of building their own masculinity. They face the fear of being marginalised and open themselves up to the possibility of showing affection in a society where male domination is imposed by systematic violence. Tenderness acquires a revolutionary power and now arrives to Rivoli's stage.

Closing the FITEI programme at the TMP, Manuel Tur premieres 'A nossa última manhã aqui'" at Campo Alegre, on the 24th and 25th. The show is based on an exhaustive search for all the textual, physical and audio documentation of the director's family history, with a particular interest in the boundaries between the real, the documentary and the fictional. He also says that 'this is a desire to deeply reflect on racism, on illusion, on what many people considered to be Portugal's golden age'.

Entire FITEI programme at TMP and more information available online.