An order of São Luiz Teatro Municipal
São Luiz Teatro Municipal invited Teatro Praga to make a show on India and Teatro Praga proposed to make a musical. Demo is a musical inspired by India, but where India remained we no longer know. Perhaps in the mythology of the birth of a nation, which puzzled us (mother in law and another’s wife, married with uncles and daughter of nephews), or even in the proliferation of arms of a goddess, in the differentiation of classes, the dimension of India’s democracy, in the excess of its population. India finds itself in the form of the show and not registered, as in a portrait or documentary. We were not there. No. We have not spoken with “them.” No.
India was used as a code to read Europe. The “other” as a mirror to see ourselves, which is an ancient method, a common place that served as a pretext for a lot of travelling. We read Moravia and Pasolini, and not Tagore, we saw Fritz Lang and not Ray.
Demo has a narrative. It’s a love story. We do not tell it very well, because those days are gone. And also because it is not possible to tell when you do not know very well what there is to tell. We managed to mix. Estonia with Iceland, Bulgaria with Spain, English with German and we find ourselves reading cycles, those that repeat themselves forever and ever: solution, failure, solution, failure.
But we have a protagonist. We named her Savitri. She comes from the waters where the crocodiles live. And she proposes, sorry, she imposes an order. Maybe all she has is a political dream, a demonic and megalomaniac dream. Or maybe she just wants to travel: “In heaven we have our Indias, to get there is to save oneself, that we all sail is what it takes.” (Father Manuel Bernardes, The last days of man.)
We built the show from fragments and completed it with the american musicians and performers Kevin Blechdom and Christopher Fleeger, and the Estonian musician and performer Andres Lõo. We wrapped philosophical, ethical, social and cultural questions in candy-paper-chansons. The candy is for everyone: colorful and palatable, but hard to crack and lethal to the teeth. It is democratic, demented and destructive.
A Teatro Praga show with original music by Kevin Blechdom, Christopher Fleeger and Andres Loo
With André e. Teodósio, André Godinho, Andres Lõo, Carlos António, Christopher Fleeger, Cláudia Jardim, Joana Barrios, Joana Manuel, Kevin Blechdom, Luís Madureira, Miguel Bonneville, Patrícia da Silva, Pedro Penim and Rita Só
Guest star | Rão Kyao
And the collaboration of Vasco Araújo
Crocodiles | André Campino, Diogo Bento and mulher bala
Light design and technical direction | Daniel Worm d’Assumpção
Video | André Godinho
Vocal support | Luís Madureira
Choreographic assistance | João Galante
Nora Nova costume | Fernanda Pereira
Ilse Koch costume | João Figueira Nogueira
Costume design | Teresa Louro and Rosário Balbi
Execution of the head of Tim O ‘Leary | Jorge Bragada
Photography | Susana Pomba
Production | Cristina Correia, Joana Gusmão and Pedro Pires
Co-production | S. Luiz Teatro Municipal, Teatro Praga
Support | O Espaço do Tempo, DEVIR, O Rumo do Fumo, Goethe-Institut Portugal
Running time | 2h30m (with intermission)