Teatro Nacional São João reopens to the public on Friday

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João Queirós

Next weekend Teatro Nacional São João will reopen, with a fresh face after rehabilitation and modernization works that have been underway for the past nine months.

To commemorate the reopening of the centenary building, Teatro Nacional São João (TNSJ) makes several suggestions for October 22nd to 24th, including the inauguration of an exhibition that marks the memory of the 100 years of the venue and the pre-presentation of Nuno Cardoso’s new show.

The “10 Acts 100 Years” exhibition, curated by Gabriella Casella, presents a retrospective of the life and work of the venue, through its 10 most memorable moments. The show takes place in Salão Nobre until 27th March 2022, World Theatre Day.

“Lear’s” Pre-Presentation

The renewed stage will host the play “Lear”, a William Shakespeare original by the hand of the director (artistic director of TNSJ) Nuno Cardoso. The play with premiere scheduled for November the 6th, will be on pre-presentation from 22 to 24 October. “Lear” reuses technical and stage equipment, props, and costumes of previous plays, revealing the memory of a century old venue.

“Lear” will have three pre-presentation sessions: Friday at 10pm, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 4pm. Admission is free, and tickets must be collected at the TNSJ ticket office.

TNSJ will also host, throughout these three days, the meeting “National Theatres: Mission, Tensions, Transformations”. The international conference is curated and moderated by the journalist Inês Nadais and will have the presence of several directors and representatives of National Theatres from different countries, as well as the American playwriter Marvin Carlson, who will open the conference, Elzbieta Matyna (Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, USA), Claudio Lonhgi (Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy), director (and former artistic director of TNSJ) Ricardo Pais, Fadhel Jaibi (Théâtre National Tunisien, Tunisia), Anna Bergmann (Badisches Staatstheater Kalsruhe, Germany), Jackie Wylie (National Theater of Scotland, Scotland) and Aubrey Sekhabi (South African State Theatre, South Africa), among others. The meetings will take place in Salão Nobre and have free entrance upon prior registration.

There will also be special guided tours on Saturday, 23, and Sunday, 24, oriented by the architects Flávio Tirone, Luís Soares Carneiro, Susana Marques, Esmeralda Paupério and Carlos Ferreira. Participation in the guided tours requires registration via the email

All information about the TNSJ reopening schedule can be found at