Sometimes a thing is not what it is.
Sometimes things like being other things, for instance, they like being similar to people. They like moving, laughing, liking and not liking.
People/things and things/people are good for telling stories.
In the Fragile world, there are small and big stories. Things want to be taken to places they don’t know, and they make short and long journeys.
In the Fragile world, there are people/things looking for things/people. There are secrets left untold, there are secrets to be told, there is an open and closed universe. There are things coming out of other things. In the Fragile world, rules are not ordinary, they are imaginary!
João Paulo Seara Cardoso and team
marionettes and scenic objects
Rui Pedro Rodrigues
Edgard Fernandes, Rui Queiroz de Matos and Sara Henriques
lighting and sound operation
Rui Pedro Rodrigues
scenography, marionette and object construction
Rui Pedro Rodrigues and Nuno Valdemar Guedes
co-production Teatro de Marionetas do Porto / Artemrede
The Fragile world of things/people
PRAISE FOR FRAGILE
Semanário Sol (weekly newspaper)
“Fragile” is the new children’s theatre play by Teatro de Marionetas do Porto, performed in Balleteatro. We went to see the performance that talks about things that would like to be other things…
Text by Susana Branco
In the dark, the light from the small lighthouse helps us follow the twists and turns of a bicycle, whose silhouette is joined by the intermittent sound of the bell. The cyclist carries boxes that keep being stacked up and falling at the same time, by twopeople that are trying to steady the load, trying to pile up the impossible. During the frenzy of activity, between boxes, in the air and on the ground, there is a box that resists the “ride” and stays on top of the bicycle. And becomes alive!… “Sometimes a thing is not what it is!”; we shall hear this sentence afterwards. Fast music brings back the frenzy with all the bustle of that ‘delivery centre’ that sends dozens and dozens of boxes all over the world. “A box with no sender address”, somebody says, puzzled.
Unexpectedly, the roles are reversed and things become human. “Sometimes things like being other things, for instance, they like being similar to people. They like moving, laughing, liking and not liking. People/things and things/people are good for telling stories. In the Fragile world, there are small and big stories… rules are not ordinary, they are imaginary!”, somebody says.
The new performance by Teatro de Marionetas do Porto (TMP), with staging and scenography by João Paulo Seara Cardoso and the Company, doesn’t exactly have a story with a beginning and an ending. This is a job for our imagination and therefore we can build our own story. “It’s a play with specific features, more philosophical, that does not use texts or the typical story. This aesthetic option is a new proposal for children made by Teatro de Marionetas do Porto”, explains de artistic director of the company, Isabel Barros. The play has neither text nor story but it tells a story: everything has a soul and people are as fragile as things. The scene, made mostly of card boxes and screens, is equally fragile but versatile, as it suffers momentary transformations, built and unbuilt on stage during the performance.
Rui Queiróz de Matos, Sara Henriques and Sérgio Rolo are the three actors performing in this marionette theatre play that combines several performative techniques such as 3D video animation, shadows, lighting design and music, lots of music, which gives rhythm to the scenes.
In this Fragile world, “things want to be taken to places they don’t know, and they make short and long journeys. In the Fragile world, there are people/things looking for things/people. There are secrets left untold, there are secrets to be told, there is an open and closed universe. There are things coming out of other things.” And there is also a little love story between two things… This small episode is part of a series of options taken by the whole Company that finished the work of João Paulo Seara Cardoso, interrupted at the time when the artistic director and founder of TMP passed away. “We have decided to finish this play, keeping his spirit, with a few final arrangements. This is a special play because it’s also a tribute to João Paulo”, says Isabel Barros. And we have seen that this Fragile world is special indeed!
Fragile – Delicate World
Visão (weekly magazine)
New production by Teatro de Marionetas do Porto
Text by Florbela Alves
This is the first performance of Teatro de Marionetas do Porto with little words. “The play comes out of a visual universe, of cardboard materials, elements made of cardboard. A universe somewhat dierent from the previous because it has no texts”, says Isabel Barros, which became the company’s artistic director after João Paulo Seara Cardoso passed away. It’s a more plastic performance, where “small stories invite you to imagine characters that come forward through several elements”. And where boxes become the main characters.
In this “Fragile world, things want to be taken to places they don’t know, and they make short and long journeys.” On stage, there will be Sérgio Rolo, Sara Henriques and Rui Queiróz de Matos. This will certainly be a play with a strong emotional charge, since it’s the first one after the death of the director and one of the last ones he wasn’t able to finish. “For us, it’s a very good feeling to pick up something he left, investigating new techniques. We tried to keep everything just like he was still with us. There is this collective feeling, this energy”, Isabel Barros acknowledges.
13 de janeiro,2011
“Fragile” is a landmark for Teatro de Marionetas
Diário Açores (Daily Newspaper)
The play “Fragile” is a landmark in the history of Teatro de Marionetas do Porto, being the first production presented after the death of João Paulo Seara Cardoso, mentor and founder of the company.
A light and an old bicycle’s bell announce in the dark the frailty of the cardboard boxes, from which a marionette is born: nothing more than a copy of a human being, with similar movements.
“In the Fragile world there are short and long stories”, says a voice in the dark.
And in “Fragile” there are also short stories – the new play by Teatro de Marionetas – and long stories – the life of Teatro de Marionetas after the death of João Paulo Seara Cardoso.
“This play is very special to the company because of the reasons in which it was finished. We had to pick up everything that was decided by João Paulo and then finish it all with great enthusiasm”, said Isabel Barros who had the diffcult task of finishing the work started by her mentor.
In “Fragile” there is a bit of João Paulo Seara Cardoso everywhere: in the relation between the marionettes and the actors, in the coordination between scenic elements (music, image, light), in the tribute to marionettes. “The title chosen by João Paulo points out how life is fragile. Even the strongest things break and that title has a whole special meaning for us, maybe a poetical one”, acknowledged Isabel Barros. Dressed in orange overalls, with cardboard box heads, feet-arms of marionettes and almost invisible strings expose the fragility of things, things that don’t want to be what they are.
“A thing is not what it is” is the philosophical and poetical message that João Paulo Seara Cardoso wanted to leave in “Fragile”, a 45 minutes performance in which men, marionettes, boxes, packing cases and shadow games build a unique scene.
“Fragile” is, sometimes, an assembly line, where all sorts of marionettes – from the more original (a box glued to the body) to the more usual (the strings marionette, that the audience recognises) – dive into a screen and become animation figures.
The first play of Teatro de Marionetas without João Paulo Seara Cardoso is also, according to Isabel Barros, the last one that the former artistic director created: “There were so much more… but we will not do them. It makes no sense. There was a sketch, but no practical work.” And the last play directed by Seara Cardoso is not, unlike the usual ones, associated to a text, it is built with silent moments, single words, and a small description of something that may be a love story before “The End” shows up on screen. But the end of the play, whose première will be next Saturday, is not the end of the group.
Isabel Barros guarantees that Teatro de Marionetas is a united group, showing enviable consistency, and is eager to continue the work that João Paulo Seara Cardoso, the father of the new marionette, has began.
in Diário Açores
16 de janeiro, 2011