Freedom and Theatre Cycle

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the 25 April Revolution, the D. Maria II National Theatre celebrates both Freedom and Theatre with a special cycle – Abril Abriu – that also signals the return to Lisbon, after a country wide tour in 2023.

Held as part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April and inspired by the achievements of the Revolution, this cycle is a reflection on the values and history of Portuguese democracy, with an eye to the future, celebrating "the doors that April opened".

The programme will take this theatre programming to different venues in Lisbon, including some non-conventional spaces, between March and July, while its building in Rossio is still closed for renovation work.   

As Areias do Imperador [The Emperor’s Sands], created by Victor de Oliveira, is the first show in the programme, with four sessions in Culturgest.

A free entry event on World Theatre Day – O Teatro que Abril Abriu  [The Theatre that April Brought] – will be a moment of celebration of Theatre and Freedom. Pedro Penim, Artistic Director of the D. Maria II National Theatre, will read the international message of World Theatre Day. This will be followed by the debate ‘Theatre and the Revolution’, a concert by Bruno Pernadas, which revisits intervention music in Portuguese revue theatre during and after the 25th of April and a closing party hosted by Pedro Coquenão aka Batida.

The Centro Cultural de Belém will host the shows Batalha [Batalha] with text by Sandro William Junqueira and direction by João de Brito; descobri-quê? [discover-what?], a joint creation from Cátia Pinheiro, Dori Nigro and José Nunes; Pérola sem Rapariga [Pearl earring without a girl],  text by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida brought to the stage by Zia Soares; and Os Idiotas [The Idiots], by the company Terceira Pessoa (Ana Gil, Nuno Leão and Óscar Silva) and Miguel Castro Caldas.

The main highlight of this cycle will be Quis saber quem sou [I wanted to know who I am], the new creation by Pedro Penim, a concert-play that revisits the songs of the Revolution, wih new arrangements by Filipe Sambado and in the voices of young performers.

The Revolution and the years of dictatorship and colonial war will be at the centre of several other shows in the cycle, such as 25 de Abril de 1974, by mala voadora, at the MAAT museum; A Paz é a Paz [The Peace is the Peace], by UMCOLETIVO, at the Teatro Romano; Luta Armada [Armed Struggle], a creation by the Hotel Europa company, which will be shown at Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo; Casa Portuguesa, by Pedro Penim, with an extended stay at the Teatro Maria Matos; and Madrinhas de Guerra, by Keli Freitas.

Some of the D. Maria II National Theatre's continuity projects also find a place in the lineup of shows, such as the partnership with FIMFA LX (International Festival of Puppetry and Animated Forms), which this year brings a version of Les Misérables to Teatro do Bairro or the NÓS/NOUS project, with the show Na Hora dos Cães, a text by Ana Carreira directed by Nuno M Cardoso.

The cycle also includes creations by Diana Niepce (NORMA), Sílvio Vieira (ZÉNITE), Sara Inês Gigante (POPULAR), Patrícia Portela (Mercado das Madrugadas) and Mónica Calle (Ensaio para uma Cartografia) and the exhibition Quem és tu? – um teatro nacional a olhar para o país, a journey that begins with the establishment of the military dictatorship through the 1926 coup d'état, and explores the multiple realities of almost a century of history, of the Teatro D. Maria II and of the country.

More information about the cycle here.

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