Marco Paiva directs “Ricardo III” in Madrid in Portuguese and Spanish Sign Language


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The play “Ricardo III”, written by Shakespeare and directed by Marco Paiva, will be on stage at the Valle-Inclán Theater in Madrid in October, with interpretation in Portuguese and Spanish Sign Language.

On stage from October 6 to 29, this is the first time that the Valle-Inclán Theater has hosted a play in sign language, Marco Paiva told Lusa.

The play is born out of the continuity of the artistic thinking that the Terra Amarela structure has developed in recent times “around the presence of Sign Language”, since, since 2018, the company has worked with various artists, namely with deaf people, said Marco Paiva.

In his latest joint creation with the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (TNDM), “Zoo story”, premiered in October 2022 at the theater in Lisbon, Marco Paiva directed, for the first time, an entire show in Portuguese Sign Language with two deaf interpreters.

“Ricardo III” is, in the director’s words, “a kind of step forward”, with a cast made up of three Portuguese actors and as many Spanish ones, who will work on the “coexistence of the two sign languages”.

In addition, Shakespeare’s text “is profoundly poetic in its writing, beautiful when it is said, but [there is] another kind of beauty when this poetics is worked out in gesture,” he stressed.

That’s why the challenge of putting this text on stage in both sign languages is to “rediscover other places of beauty and other places of poetry”.

“From a text that is very beautiful, aesthetically very strong, and that allows us to have many places around the presence of Sign Language, this is the main point,” observed Marco Paiva.

The play’s pretext ultimately lies in “sublimating sign language into a poetic text”.

However, there are other issues in Shakespeare’s text that the director wants to discuss, namely political and power issues.

“This figure of Richard III is a controversial figure, who has a voracious ambition for power and the possibility of ascending to that power, and doesn’t look at the means to achieve it. And today, this parallelism with the place of exacerbated desire for power or power for power’s own sake without looking at means is something that interests us a lot,” he added.

Adapted by Magda Labarga, the play will be performed in the Sala Grande of the Valle-Inclán Theater until October 29, with sessions from Tuesday to Sunday.

On October 17, there will be a meeting with the artistic team and on October 26 and 27 the performances will have audio description.

“Ricardo II” is a co-production of Terra Amarela with TNDM, Teatro Nacional S. João (TNSJ) and Cineteatro Louletano.

From January 17, 2024, the play can be seen at the TNSJ in Porto, while on May 2 it will take to the stage of the Cineteatro Louletano.

At the beginning of the 2025 season, it will be on stage at the TNDM, Marco Paiva said.

Five of the play’s six interpreters are deaf, but they all perform in sign language.

Marco Paiva has been working with Madrid’s Centro Dramático Nacional since 2012, but the triangle between that Spanish theater, the TNDM and Terra Amarela came about after they presented “Caligula died or not” there.

Subtitled at every performance, the play is performed by David Blanco, Angela Ibáñez, María José López, Marta Sales, Vasco Seromenho and Tony Weaver.

The set design is by José Luis Raymond, the lighting by Nuno Samora and the costumes by Ikerne Jiménez.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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