Cunhal’s play “Os Barrigos e os Magriços” in Setúbal by Teatro Estúdio Fontenova


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The play “Os Barrigas e os Magriços”, a free adaptation of Álvaro Cunhal’s short story of the same name, is the new creation of Teatro Estúdio Fontenova and opens on February 15 at the Casa da Cultura in Setúbal.

Included in the program of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April 1974, this is the first creation of the year by the Setúbal theater company and, although it is rated for ages 12 and up, it was conceived “for the younger age groups”, added the company.

“Os Barrigas e os Magriços” is a parable about April 25, 1974 for children: The story centers on a Portugal of “many years ago”, where there were some men known as Barrigas and others as Magriços. The former ate so much that their whole body could be their stomach, while the latter had almost nothing to satisfy their hunger.

“We received this story from a grandfather, and so we remembered the stories of our grandparents… Álvaro Cunhal tells us in this story about the Magriços, who, like some of their grandparents, worked a lot, in the fields and at sea, walked barefoot, couldn’t go to school, but wanted a better country,” reads the synopsis by Teatro Estúdio Fontenova of the tale written by the founder and general secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) from March 31, 1961 to December 5, 1992.

But also about the Barrigas, “those who had a lot of things, owned the land, the laws and thought they owned the people”, notes the play’s synopsis, which tells the story of “a country that was very yellow, so yellow that smiles were smaller than the palm of your hand”.

“But we’re still walking today, or running, and although we don’t find so many bare feet anymore, there are still shoes that think they’re better than others, and that can even step on some feet! In this marathon, in which we also go up and down, we’re going to cook an açorda with several hands, all under the same sky and above the same ground,” concludes the synopsis.

The show was created, dramatized and performed by João M. Mota, Patrícia Paixão and Sara Túbio Costa, who also coordinated the project, set design and costumes.

The original music is by João M. Mota, the light design by José Maria Dias and Ricardo Batista, and the illustration by Paula Moita.

The show’s consultants included researchers, politicians and creators such as Ana Margarida Campos, Armindo Miranda, Clara Cândido, Joana Mortágua, Joana Simões Piedade and Ricardo Guerreiro Campos.

At Setúbal’s Casa da Cultura, “Os Barrigas e os Magriços” will have six performances on February 15 and 16, with sessions at 11:00, 15:00 and 21:30, two on the 17th (11:00 and 21:30) and two on the 18th (11:00 and 16:00).

The play will also have sessions in schools, namely at the Luísa Todi Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Setúbal, or at the Ajuda Pole of A Voz do Operário, the company added, without specifying dates.

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavan
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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