O Balcão [The Balcony] takes place inside a luxury brothel, a confined, aseptic space under constant surveillance and shot through by the echoes of an ongoing revolution. With this play, Nuno Cardoso brings to a close his “inaugural trilogy”, a set of three plays that embody the notion of a demanding, timeless, cross-border repertoire theatre. First came one of the founding texts of theatrical modernity (Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death), followed by the revisitation of a masterwork of classic Portuguese dramaturgy (António Ferreira’s Castro). Erotic comedy, metaphysical drama, funereal farce? Baroque and indisciplined, this Balcony evades pigeonholing. It may well become, as is always the case in both Jean Genet and Nuno Cardoso, a stage for our imaginings.
The Girl: (Very softly.) It’s approaching, sir. It’s evening in an apple-orchard. The sky is calm and pink. The earth is bathed in a sudden peace – the moan of doves – the peace thar precedes battles. The air is very still. An apple has fallen to the grass. A yellow apple. Things are holding their breath. War is declared. The evening is very mild. […] Now death was in action. She moved nimbly from one to the other, deepening a wound, dimming an eye, tearing off an arm, opening an artery, discolouring a face, cutting short a cry, a song. Death was ready to drop. Finally, exhausted, herself dead with fatigue, she grew drowsy and rested lightly on your shoulder, where she fell asleep.
Jean Genet – The Balcony
by Jean Genet directed by Nuno Cardoso
translated by Regina Guimarães set design F. Ribeiro costumes TNSJ lighting design Filipe Pinheiro sound design João Oliveira video Fernando Costa voice Carlos Meireles movement Elisabete Magalhães dramaturgy Nuno Cardoso, Ricardo Braun staging assistant Ricardo Braun
cast Afonso Santos, Ana Brandão, António Afonso Parra, Joana Carvalho, João Melo, Margarida Carvalho, Maria Leite, Mário Santos, Rodrigo Santos, Sergio Sá Cunha
produced by Teatro Nacional São João