Thomas Quillardet Sadness and Joy in the Life of Giraffes

by Tiago Rodrigues


How can we find happiness in times of crisis? Such is the quest of a young girl named Giraffe whose unemployed father can no longer afford to pay for cable television. During her runaway adventures across Lisbon, a city worn down by austerity politics, she is suddenly confronted with the violence of the adult world.

At the tender age of nine years old, Giraffe has recently lost her mother, and her father, an unemployed actor, no longer has the means to pay for cable television. At this stage in her life, she is too grown-up to be in need of a security blanket for comfort, but is not yet grown-up enough to abandon her childhood dreams and confront the violence of the adult world. Thomas Quillardet’s staging draws upon the interplay between notions of size and scale. The text by Tiago Rodrigues recounts the runaway adventures of Giraffe, accompanied by her suicidal teddy bear Judy Garland. On the frontier between fairy tale and documentary, it is a coming-of-age piece. In order to prepare for an essay, the young girl needs to watch her favourite TV program - “The Life of Giraffes”. Thus, she sets off in search of 53,507 euros, the cost of a Discovery Channel subscription for the next one hundred years. On the way, she encounters an old man and a panther but also the Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, and Chekhov. Giraffe is a sort of modern-day Candide. Her innocent view of the world brings to the forefront the excesses of a world in crisis, the economic aberrations of a Portugal brought to its knees, and of a Europe which has lost its way. It is also a story of grief and tenderness between a father and her daughter.
Running time : 1h20
Show for spectators for aged 10 years upwards