Antoine et Cléopâtre
An ancient tale of fervour and fire, of ever passionate love. A theatrical act of frenzied feeling that illuminates the ultimate myth.
Monumental and inspiring, the royal couple of Antony and Cleopatra will never truly rest in peace. Imbued with the lessons of Plutarch, as well as Shakespeare’s verse and the epic passion as portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the screen, the great Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, who won over the hearts of festivalgoers in 2015 with By Heart, illuminates the ultimate myth.
A story as old as the hills, the tale has been revamped by Tiago Rodrigues for the dancers and choreographers Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz, who share their lives both on and offstage. Whether through movement and gesture or in speech, they fully complement each other; Antony breathes in, Cleopatra breathes out. Sofia and Vítor incarnate the characters thoroughly, slipping into their very skins. There is no East versus West or Egypt against Rome; no man or woman, for that matter. What remains is love, a love that will forever be passion personified. A theatrical act rooted body and soul in the present.
Produced by Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
Initially produced by Mundo Perfeito
Written by Tiago Rodrigues including quotes from Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Directed by Tiago Rodrigues
Performed by Sofia Dias + Vítor Roriz
Set design Ângela Rocha
Costume design Magda Bizarro + Ângelo Rocha
Lighting design Nuno Meira
Artistic collaborators Maria João Serrão + Thomas Walgrave
Set Construction Decor Galamba
Translation to French Thomas Resendes
Technical Director Carin Geada
Stage Manager Ana Catarina Mendes
Sound Design Pedro Costa
Executive producers for the initial project Magda Bizarro + Rita Mendes
Co-produced by Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon) + Centro Cultural Vila Flôr (Guimarães) + Temps d’Images (Lisbon)
With the support of Museu de Marinha (Lisbon)
Artistic residencies Teatro do Campo Alegre (Porto) + Teatro Nacional de São João (Porto) + Alkantara (Lisbon)
Presented with the support of CAMÕES Institut de la coopération et de la langue I.P. in association with Société de la Place des Arts + Festival international de la littérature (FIL)
Written by Jessie Mill
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Centro cultural de Belém, Lisbon, on December 4, 2014
Tiago Rodrigues (Lisbon)
Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
Just 40 years old, Tiago Rodrigues has been the director of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II since 2015, where he pursues the challenge of creating a freer, more open public theatre.
He began as an actor, notably with the Belgian company TG Stan, an experience that stimulated a candid approach to the classics. Tiago Rodrigues has developed a style and creative focus very germane to the stage. He sees himself first as a reader, then a writer, basing each of his creative gestures in the memory of books.
In 2003 he founded Mundo Perfeito with Magda Bizarro, producing a series of original shows and contemporary texts. Tiago Rodrigues also collaborates with others such as Rabih Mroué, Tim Etchells and the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and each new encounter leaves its mark on the artistic process. That is very much the case with Antoine et Cléopâtre, created especially for Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz. With By Heart, presented at the FTA in 2015 and performed in four different languages all over the world, Tiago Rodrigues charmed audiences with his storytelling abilities. In 2016 he presented Bovary in Paris. Loosely based on the novel, its main focus is Flaubert’s trial in 1857 on charges of obscenity. Following the play’s presentation, Tiago Rodrigues occupied the Théâtre de la Bastille for two months with some 70 artists and spectators motivated by question « What does theatre do to life? »