Pedro Penim Pères & fils


In this Pères & fils, the new director of the Theatre of Lisbon, Pedro Penim, blends Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons, with a contemporary reflection on the abolition of the patriarchal family structure. The words of the feminist theorist Sophie Lewis echo in the light of the past.

Pedro Penim is a founder member of the Teatro Prago collective, which roughly translates as “Scourge Theatre”. This gives a strong indication as to the artistic universe of this Portuguese director and author, as well as his links with Tg STAN and his collaborative approach to the stage. In Pais & Filhos, he uses two literary sources to explore a contemporary debate, that of surrogate motherhood and the raising of a family. On the one hand, he draws upon a great work of Russia’s cultural inheritance, Fathers and Sons, written by Turgenev in 1826, and on the other, the essay Full Surrogacy Now. Feminism Against Family, published by the American writer, Sophie Lewis. In this text, she defends surrogate pregnancy, thereby raising questions of a wider nature about the family as a patriarchal structure. Pedro Penim probes into classic works in search of the voice for the present, and as such, his latest piece is a vibrant place of reflexion on today’s world. Drawing upon his own experience of fatherhood, he takes biographical material and blends it into a work of fiction. The piece raises thought-provoking questions about the transformation of the traditional family unit.