Before is a small jewel in new Portuguese dramaturgy. Recently presented at ISKV Tiyatro Festivali – Istanbul, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and Barcelona’s Hiroshima, Pedro Penim’s text approaches with irony and humor, the feeling of saudade, the longing of the past.
Presented as an “atlas of melancholies”, the performance identifies here and there across Europe a sort of persistent awkwardness related to very ancient events. Has our past really been so “glorious” once? And how far back should we trace this “before”?
Before speaks about the yearning for a return to a past time perceived as glorious and desirable when facing a painful present. This disease, shared by many civilizations throughout history, always diagnoses the end of an era.
In order to build this diagnosis, Pedro Penim dares to bring face to face a tyrannosaurus and a pretty skeptical post-modern psychoanalyst. A hilarious and bitter dialogue offering “food for thought” about the future of our civilizations and their propensity to nurture ghosts and mythologies of fallen empires.
The play was recently adapted to film (“Past Perfect”) by the director Jorge Jácome (also responsible for the videos of the performance) and was part of the official selection of Berlinale 2019, New Directors / New Films 2019 at MoMA – New York and Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019, a.o.
Text, artistic direction and performance | Pedro Penim / Teatro Praga
Cast | Bernardo de Lacerda, Vítor Silva Costa and Pedro Penim
Light design | Rui Monteiro
Head of production | Andreia Carneiro
General assistance and executive production | Bernardo de Lacerda
Production | Alexandra Baião
Co-production | DeVIR / CAPa (for the 3rd edition of “Encontros do DeVIR” Festival) , Temps d’images
Video | Jorge Jácome
Photography | Alípio Padilha
Length | 60min
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