Past Scenes

O Presidente
45th Production (Co-Production with Companhia de Teatro de Almada)
Premiere: 26/11/2008

ACTA - O Presidente ACTA - O Presidente ACTA - O Presidente

Tour: Almada, Faro

The play takes place twenty years after the start of his career as president. Nothing is working in the country. The dignitaries let themselves be killed by ‘anarchists’, among which is undoubtedly the presidential couple's son, who escaped one night without saying anything. Nothing works, but everything goes on. Before going to another funeral (that of a colonel killed in an attack), the president gets massages and his wife puts on her makeup. It’s essentially her that talks during the first part of the play. For over an hour, the president’s wife torments her maid, cries for her dog killed in the attack, quotes her chaplain continuously, and persistently invokes the two causes for the disastrous situation in which the country finds itself: ‘Ambition, hatred : nothing else.’
In the second part the president has the word, now traveling to Portugal with his lover: a second-class actress in whom he sees ‘the genius of the dramatic art.’ The stage and the political theatre are, for the president, the same thing. But with him as well as with his wife, their verbosity hides anguish: the apparent treason of their son.

Press highlight

‘The show explores up to exhaustion the ability of the actors Teresa Gafeira and Luís Vicente to play with a text that recurrently exposes the characters they interpret as an elaborated caricature of the 20 years the President was in office. It is a cruel portrait, the result of the several years in which power slowly sculpted several deformities in both body and spirit. (…) The performances of Teresa Gafeira and Luís Vicente are surprising by the extraordinary power they have in taking the spectator into extreme irritation. (…)
The scenography of the show, by João Luís Carrilho da Graça underlines the personality of the two leading characters. (…) A daring text with the exceptional abilities of Teresa Gafeira and Luís Vicente.’
Ana Oliveira, Jornal do Algarve, 22/01/09

‘Luis Vicente is irreprehensible as the president, and the same could be said of the other actors who have the ungrateful role of saying nothing at all, though they are present, specifically Teresa Mónica, the maid, and Neuza Teixeira, the mistress.’
João Carneiro, Actual – Expresso, 06/12/08

‘And, in this co-production by CTA and ACTA, Teresa Gafeira has an increased demand. (…) What is a whim in the woman will be verbosity in him; what is futility in her becomes conviction in him. Luís Vicente, excellent, stands out by far in the understanding of satire and double meanings.’
Rosário Anselmo, Visão – Sete, 04/12/08