Tiago Rodrigues Sopro


This year the Festival d’Automne will be hosting two shows by the Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, offering new points of view on theatrical inheritance. One of them, Sopro, pays homage to theatre’s hidden individuals, but who nonetheless breathe life into it. The other, By Heart, re-stages, every evening, the survival of words and ideas.

The set is a simple one: curtains, stage floor, and a few chairs. They are the instantly recognizable, primary elements of theatrical performance. Sopro (which means “breath” in Portuguese) brings us the possibility of a theatre of which nothing remains, but which the memories of a theatre prompter can breathe new life into. Using anecdotes collected from Cristina Vidal, prompter for the last 39 years at Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional D.Maria II, of which he is not just artistic director but also staff director, Tiago Rodrigues has devised a show orientated towards past and future alike. The show interweaves extracts from classical works (by Racine, Chekhov or Sophocles) with moments taken from backstage life. A homage to a rapidly-disappearing profession, Sopro also brings into the limelight theatre’s unseen individuals, whether hidden behind the actors or hidden backstage. Beyond the texts themselves, the piece is driven by a desire to represent the invisible, this breath or outpouring that can neither be caught nor controlled, not completely anyway, but which, in spiritual and physical terms, keeps us alive.
Running time : 1h45
Performed in Portuguese, with French subtitles