City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Telenovela: Afternoon Soap Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 28 August 2009

Show details
C Venues - C
La Marmita
Running time: 
Andrea Gabilondo (conception and choreography), Luis Miguel Sousa (video artist), Suzanne Rosler (stage design and costumes), Viriato Morais(graphic design), Francisco Tavares (light and sound), Elena Katz-Chernin, Ray Brown, Nicloca Piovani, Permendes Hernandez, TNX (music)
Andrea Gabilondo, Viriato Morais

Soothed by the soporific tones of a home loving song about Kansas, the audience is shown pictures of two of the characters from Portugese Telenovela on a loop on the large screen on stage. The show starts with a film of a woman rushing home through narrow streets then smoothly, magically appearing on stage as though she had merely stepped though the screen.

This captivating device of slipping in and out from stage to screen was used more than once in the show and set the tone for well timed movement and choreography by both performers. They played out the dynamics between man and wife, boss and secretary, lover and mistress with little dialogue and without staying in one European language when words were used.

Instead, the daily round of these characters is shown through Gabilondo's wordless athletic elegance and balletic grace, along with the slinky, malleable moves of Morais. The sequences are punctuated by mock adverts and accompanied by mood -setting music from sinister strings to cheeky cha cha cha. While many shows use technology in the form of film and slides, this company's interactive use of it makes it inextricably part of the performance, and not just a prop or filler.

La Marmita is not only the name of the company, but also the name of their performing space in Portugal. In Spanish the word means a cauldron where different ingredients are thrown together and cooked, but in Portuguese it means a lunchbox and according to the company the pun is intentional as "many of our performances are independently produced".

Although this helps clarify the company's intention, the impression was that the show was rather disjointed and would have benefited from a clearer, more continuous narrative. With their immense talent, it has the potential to be special and truly entertaining and engaging. As it is, it is rather esoteric and requires just a bit too much suspension of disbelief as it moves suddenly and inexplicably from scene to scene.
Among the few props were two china cups and saucers that featured so enticingly that uma bica had to be in order after the show!

Times: 23-31 August, 2009