John Cassavetes’ film Opening Night [Noite de Estreia] (1977) brought the theatre to the cinema. By bringing it back to the stage, Martim Pedroso offers us “a stage show about a film about a stage show”. The heart of this mise-en-abyme beats in the solitary, against-the-grain career of Myrtle Gordon, the actress who plays the role of Virginia in the play-within-a-play The Second Woman. Myrtle does not recognise herself in the conventions of masculinity and femininity propagated by the play’s text. Her discomfort with the role boils over when she witnesses the death of a female fan, spiralling a crisis that puts everything in question, starting with the play itself, which she intends to turn upside down. Martim Pedroso’s Noite de Estreia, in its game of mirrors between theatre and cinema, which hews close to Cassavetes and his acting “method”, is a celebration of actors and of the theatre’s intimate ability to search for hope, as Myrtle asks to the director and to her playwright, something able to shatter all stereotypes. Ultimately, who is this second woman, who takes the stage by storm on the “night of all openings or the most delightful of all failures”?
based upon the film by John Cassavetes adapted and directed by Martim Pedroso
set design Jean-Guy Lecat costumes João Telmo lighting design José Álvaro Correia original music and sound design Carlos Morgado video editing and direction Ruben do Valle executive production Ana Pinto
cast Dalila Carmo, Heitor Lourenço, João Araújo, João Reis, Margarida Bakker, Maria José Paschoal, Marta Félix, Sabri Lucas
special video participation Inês Santos Caramuchande, Isabél Zuaa, Madalena Brandão, Mauro Hermínio, Noah Santos Caramuchande
co-produced by Nova Companhia, Teatro da Trindade INATEL, Teatro Nacional São João
opening 22Apr2021 Teatro da Trindade INATEL (Lisboa)
playing time 1:50 Ages 12 and up