Performing Arts

‘Paixão segundo João’

— by Pedro Lacerda

24.11 — 27.11.20 07:30PM
02.12 — 04.12.20 07:30PM
09.12 — 12.12.20 07:30PM


© Vera Marmelo
© Vera Marmelo
© Vera Marmelo
© Manuel Abelho

Direction Pedro Lacerda
With Vítor d'Andrade, Pedro Lacerda and José Grazina

After “Lenz” and “hOtelo”, Pedro Lacerda’s shows debut in Negócio, between 2014 and 2015, “Paixão segundo João” brings together elements of the same team and develops in partnership with ZDB, opening the NOVO NEGÓCIO. According to Pedro Lacerda, this choice is not intended to maintain a language already experienced, but to make a space for free experimentation grow, and stems from a logic of understanding in the continuity of a relationship of mutual artistic trust.

This piece, which includes “Quatro actos Profanos” by Antonio Tarantino (and won the Riccione prize in 1994 and the Ubu prize in 1998), tells the journey of a mental patient, accompanied by a nurse, to the different sections of Social Security to obtain or not, his status as “crazy”. If the text masterfully proposes funny and other tragic moments, the current circumstances reinforce its dystopian aspect, and along with the will to follow the work of this team, also the fact that Tarantino has recently left us and we find ourselves in an exceptional situation of pandemic, are conditions that impel us to a new reading.

The “Paixão segundo João” is a text by Antonio Tarantino about the sanctification of the individual. It is a path of holiness, built in a parallel way to the Gospel of St. John in chapters 18 and 19, where the Passion of Christ is described. Here, instead of the Mount of Olives, of Judas’ betrayals, interrogations, trials and crucifixions we have the hospital bar, the social security waiting room, the doctor’s office, the fear of electroshocks. A mental patient (I-He), who takes himself for the son of God, walks his way of the cross accompanied by an official of the institution (João). It is the journey in stations, like a sacred way, revisited by two individuals. One is schizophrenic, with limited and repetitive language, and the other is a simple man, with telluric language, present and participative. The senses of the realities of schizophrenia are as true as others supported by reason. And it is incredible how a far away reality moves us so much, citizens of the earth. According to the author, the smallest spark of expression may contain all poetry today. That’s the path this project aspires to, the attempt to achieve for an instant to be the owner of all the poetry in the world. ‘Paixão segundo João’ is a spectacle about life, about the justification of existence so that it cannot be defined as a failure. In the paranoid assumption that rationality can only be understood in a religious way because it hurts the being and is equivalent to the path to the cross. It is a quantum theater, of small particles, because the individual being matters little, and the amazement of realities shocks, collaborates, superimposes, has different interpretations according to the observer.
As in physics, it depends on me or on him or on João or the audience, it depends on the observer. And the versions collaborate and clash and create the theater. The collision that can show the explanation of the universe. And the explanation of the universe is all the poetry in the world. This is what we seek in this project: to expose an environment of collisions, of observation of different dimensions, in relative times. The final result may contain, perhaps, the explanation of the world, today and here. I-He will save the world for those who believe in it, but more important will justify its existence before life. The poor in spirit are inimitable.


The piece will take place in NOVO NEGÓCIO, being complient with the rules of social distance provided by the DGS. The capacity is limited and the use of a mask is mandatory.

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