Teatro S茫o Jo茫o

O Balc茫o

by Jean Genet

directed by Nuno Cardoso

O Balc茫o


鈥淓verything here is false, and everything must be handled with extreme gentleness.鈥 Writer and poet Jean Genet did not consider himself a playwright, but he nonetheless used his aggressive writings for the stage to dissect social and literary norms. The above quote condenses the essence of The Balcony (1955), a play he revised obsessively: in it, a luxury brothel becomes an archetype for the world and the theatre. After its premiere last November, Nuno Cardoso brings us now back to this house of illusions, a place 鈥渂ordering death, where all freedoms are possible鈥. Across this carefully watched prison-like space move a number of characters who present themselves as figures of power. On the background, a revolution flares up and devastates. 鈥淚llusion is the play鈥檚 real theme鈥,

according to Genet. Equivocations between what is fake and what is real, the inside and the outside (of the brothel or the scene), are constant, exposing the machinery of power鈥檚 farce and its social dynamics. In The Balcony, we are simultaneously voyeurs and characters in a puppet theatre where seeing and being seen are everyone鈥檚 priority. Once in a while, this game of mirrors is interrupted by moments of poetic beauty and derision. There, 鈥渨ith integrity and smiling鈥, as was Genet鈥檚 intention, we see ourselves in a ritual, as avatars of our desires.


by Jean Genet directed by Nuno Cardoso translated by Regina Guimar茫es

dramaturgy Nuno Cardoso, Ricardo Braun set design F. Ribeiro costumes TNSJ lighting design Filipe Pinheiro sound design Jo茫o Oliveira video Fernando Costa voice Carlos Meireles movement Elisabete Magalh茫es direction assistance Ricardo Braun

cast Afonso Santos, Ana Brand茫o, Ant贸nio Afonso Parra, Joana Carvalho, Jo茫o Melo, Margarida Carvalho, Maria Leite, M谩rio Santos, Rodrigo Santos, S茅rgio S谩 Cunha

produced by Teatro Nacional S茫o Jo茫o

opening 17nov2020 Teatro Nacional S茫o Jo茫o playing time 2:30 Ages 12 and up


English subtitles

9 JAN Portuguese Sign Language + Post-show talk with Luis Mestre