Porto de Mós tells the story of April 25 in seven street plays

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Seven theater groups from the municipality of Porto de Mós, district of Leiria, will remember remarkable episodes of the history of April 25, in the 8th Street Theater Festival, which runs from Saturday to August 5.

The project is a partnership between the municipality and the Leirena Teatro group, which over the past five months has staged the county’s seven amateur theater groups to present this summer episodes from before, during and after the April revolution.

“Of course there will be a group that has April 25,” noted Leirena director Frédéric da Cruz Pires, but, he exemplified, “there is a group that is working on the communications cable that was laid at night by Lisbon, all done on the sly, and another show is related to March 16 [Caldas da Rainha uprising],” and so on, “in chronological order,” until it culminates in a play dedicated to the Constituent Assembly.

According to the festival’s artistic director, “each show lives for itself”, but it will also “be interesting if one person can attend all the shows”.

“Suddenly, we have here a mixture between a theater festival, a pedagogical theater, an intervention theater, a theater as a mediation process”, underlined Frédéric da Cruz Pires.

Involving a hundred amateur actors in the seven groups, the festival is a generational meeting, with young people getting to know episodes of April 25 and the history of Portugal at that time through the testimony of the elders.

Porto city in Portugal
Porto city in Portugal

“We have groups with people who had [at the time] an intervention stance, we have people who were soldiers, military personnel who were in Guinea and Angola,” he explained.

For these now amateur actors from Porto de Mós, being able to talk about what happened half a century ago “is very important”.

“There are many people who have a lot to say and who have kept a hurt, an opinion, a thought or even their own emotions and feelings inside them for many years and want to put it out there,” said the artistic director.

The Porto de Mós Street Theater Festival is therefore “an exchange”, noted Frédéric Pires, because “the director proposes, listens, plays with the cast, sees what the cast proposes”, until “a reciprocity between the parties” is found.

“And this issue of those who were military being able to share is gold on blue, it is a knowledge that is shared and that is fundamental. That is why the Street Theater Festival is mediation, it is intervention, it is pedagogy, a work for the community “, he concluded.

Always in Praça da República de Porto de Mós, at 21:30, the festival kicks off on Saturday with “A sombra”, by Teatr’ambu, from São Jorge and, on Sunday, the group “Um par de cinco”, from Mira de Aire, stages “O povo está com o MFA”.

The following weekend, “Os miúdos da serra”, from Alqueidão da Serra, perform “O rastilho” on July 28, Trûpego, from Porto de Mós, goes on stage on the 29th with “Espertina – no final de 72, and JuncaTeatro, from Juncal, tells the story “Por detrás das armas”, on the 30th.

The Porto de Mós Street Theater Festival ends with “Operation end regime”, by Teatro Olaré, from Serro Ventoso, on August 4, and “Constituent Assembly”, by Mendigal, from Mendiga, on August 5.

Also in Porto de Mós and also integrated in the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of April 25, the company Leirena is developing the play “Ondas da liberdade”. The show explores the importance of radio in the revolution and is scheduled to premiere in April 2024.

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